The state Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection held a public hearing Wednesday, January 31 at 9:30 AM in Room 201 Southeast, State Capitol on Senate Bill 713. (See hearing notice.) The bill is authored by state Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville, pictured at left), who chairs the committee hearing the bill, and is also a former Cedarburg School Board member.
Critics of the bill are concerned that it would end the State Trust Fund Loan program, which supports schools, public libraries, technical colleges and local governments. This loan program is currently managed by the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL). Continue reading Hearing held on bill to eliminate the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands’ loan authority
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) announced he is appointing Senator Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) to the Legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee. Stroebel will replace Sheila Harsdorf who resigned her Senate seat to become Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. Her open state Senate seat will be filled in a special election in January.
Sen. Stroebel released a statement that reads in part: Continue reading Senator Stroebel Appointed to Powerful Budget-Writing Committee
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
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