Ten school referenda will be on the ballot Tuesday in various school districts across the state. It will mark the last time school boards will be able to place ballot questions before voters on a date that doesn’t coincide with a regularly scheduled election under new restrictions enacted as part of the 2017-19 state budget.
Effective January 1, 2018, school district referenda to exceed revenue limits and to issue bonds will be limited to being held only on regularly-scheduled election days (i.e., the February spring primary or April spring general election, or the August (fall) partisan primary or November general election). Districts will be further restricted to calling referenda on just two dates per calendar year.
Continue reading Voters to Decide Ten School Referenda on Tuesday
Updated: The state Senate voted 19-14 to pass the state budget and send it to Gov. Walker after he agreed to certain vetoes to gain the support of Senate GOP holdouts Sen. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield), Sen. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) and Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville).
Read More: Scott Walker strikes deal with Republican holdouts as Wisconsin Senate passes budget (Cap Times)
Continue reading Senate Approves State Budget Bill With Gov. Walker Veto Deal
The state Assembly passed the state budget bill late last night on a vote of 57-39 with all Democrats and five Republicans (Reps. Scott Allen of Waukesha, Janel Brandtjen of Menomonee Falls, Bob Gannon of West Bend, Adam Jarchow of Balsam Lake and Joe Sanfelippo of New Berlin) voting NO on the bill.
The bill now goes to the state Senate where a Friday vote is planned even though they are currently short of the 17 needed votes to pass it. Continue reading Assembly Passes State Budget Bill; Senate Support Uncertain
An interesting wrinkle has developed on the competitive bidding front. Last Thursday (July 13), one day after a public hearing was held on Assembly Bill 307, a bill mandating that schools use competitive sealed bidding for school construction projects, (see previous post), a “DOT Reform” bill draft (LRB 3884/1) was circulated by Sen. Chris Kapenga (R-Pewaukee) and Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin) and others. Included in that “DOT reform” package, is language authorizing cities, villages, towns, counties and technical colleges to use “alternative project delivery methods,” including: “Design-Build”; “Design-Build-Finance”; “Construction Manager-General Contractor” and “Fixed-price variable-scope” delivery methods.
Under current law, a school board may utilize such alternative project delivery methods if it wishes, so long as it has not voluntarily adopted a local board policy requiring competitive bidding. However, if AB 307 becomes law and competitive bidding becomes mandatory for all school districts, specific authorization would be needed for schools to use these alternative project delivery methods.
Continue reading New Twist to Proposed Competitive Bidding Mandate on Schools
This week Senate Bill 187, authored by Sen. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) and Rep. John Macco (R-Ledgeview), received a public hearing in the Senate Economic Development, Commerce and Local Government Committee. The bill was also substantially changed at the last minute by a substitute amendment that was neither provided nor available to the public in advance of the hearing.
The new version includes the following major changes: Continue reading Public Hearing on Referendum Info Bill Focuses on Process, Impact
Senate Bill 187 by Sen. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield, pictured) has been scheduled for a public hearing by the Senate Economic Development, Commerce and Local Government Committee, chaired by Sen. Dan Feyen (R-Fond du Lac):
Tuesday, May 30th
Room 201 Southeast, State Capitol, Madison
This bill would be an unfunded state mandate requiring school boards proposing an operational or revenue limit referendum to also include in the resolution and in the referendum question the total amount of debt to be issued, the total amount of interest and related debt service costs to be incurred, and the sum of the principal, interest, and related debt service costs. Continue reading First Referendum-Related Bill Scheduled for Public Hearing
Since our last post on the topic, most of the bills have been introduced and referred to standing committees. For a brief description of each bill see that previous post or click on the bill links below to see the actual bill language. Each proposal but one has a Senate and Assembly bill listed. These are identical companion bills, a common tactic to allow for proposals to begin the legislative process in each house simultaneously.
Senate Bill 191/Assembly Bill 282 by Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville, pictured) & Rep. David Murphy (R-Greenville) – Limitations on when operating referenda and debt issuance referenda may be called. Continue reading Update on School Referendum Restriction Package of Bills