2018 Bills

SB 122: Preventing School Boards from Bonding Beyond Voter Approval

This bill passed the Senate with a vote of 23-3 and passed the House with a vote of 40-28.

Libertas Institute supports this bill

Staff review of this legislation finds that it is aligned with our principles and merits support.

When voters go to the polls to approve a local school district bond, they are led to believe that the total amount of the bond is what is printed on the ballot. Ultimately, accounting tricks through the bond market allow local school districts to often bond for more than was approved. In essence, a $275 million bond can turn into $300 million, even though that higher amount was never approved by the voters.

Senate Bill 122, sponsored by Senator Howard Stephenson, addresses this issue by making local school districts hold fast to the amount the voters approved for bonding.

If the school district needs a certain amount for buildings, they must ask for that specific amount, rather than using the bond market to produce extra money for the school district. Because taxpayers must pay the bond back, it is essential to ensure transparency in what voters are being asked to fund.