After scrapping plans to come back in an extraordinary session to modify state law regarding special elections, it appears the state legislature has concluded its business for the 2017-18 legislative session. Let’s take a look back on the major proposals dealing with K-12 education and examine what made it into law and what did not.
If you are interested in the fate of a bill and you do not see it listed below consult the WASB Bill Tracking Chart. Also, for more information on any of the legislation listed below, click on the topic headings.
Continue reading 2017-18 Legislative Session K-12 wrap up
The 2017-18 state legislative floor session will soon draw to a close. The session that began on January 3, 2017 is slated to end on March 22, 2018 and could conclude before then, according to reports from the Capitol. While three two-week periods—January 16 to 25, February 13 to 22, and March 13 to 22, 2018—are designated as floorperiods, the state Senate and Assembly will not likely be on the floor more than a couple of those days. Continue reading January 2018 Legislative Session Update
All of the bills mentioned in our previous post that were voted on in the state Senate on October 31 have been approved by that chamber including:
Senate Bill 236 Competitive Bidding Mandate (Sen. Stroebel) This bill would require school districts to utilize statutory competitive, sealed bidding provisions when awarding school construction contracts and increase the dollar thresholds above which counties and municipalities must follow competitive bidding when awarding public works contracts. (WASB Opposes) [See previous post.] This bill now heads to the Assembly for action by that chamber. It is important that school leaders contact their State Representatives and ask them to oppose the bill, especially if your district has a local preference component in your bidding policy (which this bill would prohibit). Continue reading Competitive Bidding, Financial Literacy Bills Pass Senate
The state Senate and Assembly are set to be on the floor again this week and next week. This is the last scheduled floor period during calendar 2017. Once it concludes, neither house will meet again until January.
Although the floor session is scheduled to begin on Oct. 31 and run until Nov. 9, neither house will meet on every available day during the floor session.
The state Senate is scheduled to meet Tuesday, Oct. 31, and Tuesday, Nov. 7.
The state Assembly will be in session on Thursday, Nov. 2, and Thursday, Nov. 9. Assembly members have also been told to keep Tuesday, Nov. 7, open for a potential session day.
Three remaining floorperiods are scheduled, each of them two weeks long, in January, February and March. However, there is talk of wrapping up the 2017-18 legislative session early in 2018 so that, among other things, legislators can focus on their districts in preparation for November’s election.
Continue reading Senate Set to Vote on Several Bills Affecting K-12 Education Tomorrow
This week, the Senate version —Senate Bill 236— of a bill that would impose significant new requirements for competitive bidding of public construction contracts by school districts surged through the legislative process.
Yesterday (Thursday, Oct 5), the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Commerce and Local Government voted along party lines to give a favorable recommendation to Senate Bill 236, which had received its only public hearing to date just two days earlier. The bill now moves to the full state Senate for a vote. Continue reading Bill Mandating Use of Competitive Bidding for School Construction Advancing Rapidly
The Senate version of a bill (Senate Bill 236) that would require school districts to use the competitive bidding process on certain school construction projects has been scheduled for a public hearing Tuesday, Oct. 3rd and committee vote Thursday, Oct. 5th in the Senate Local Government Committee. The bill is authored by state Sen. Duey Stroebel and state Rep. Robert Brooks (R’s-Saukville).
The WASB testified in opposition to the Assembly version (Assembly Bill 307) in July. Our position was determined based on support for local control and noted that the bill would limit or eliminate local board discretion and flexibility to use various project delivery methods for school construction. Continue reading Unfunded Mandate Update: Competitive Bidding & Construction Notices
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