The Assembly Committee on Education has scheduled a public hearing on three bills to restrict school boards’ ability to place referendum questions before district voters and limit the length of time a successful referendum can be in effect. The hearing will be held:
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Room 417 North (GAR Hall), State Capitol Building
The three referendum restriction bills are:
Continue reading Referendum Restrictions Bills Scheduled for Thursday Hearing
Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) will return as the co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC), the powerful state budget-writing committee. Two new committee members, Rep. Mark Born of Beaver Dam and Rep. Mike Rohrkaste of Neenah, were appointed to replace retiring Rep. Dean Knudson (R-Hudson) while Rep. Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh) was removed from the committee.
See the full list below, along with the school districts each represents. If you are a board member or administrator in one of these districts you are in a great position to have the ear of legislators who are very influential in the development of the state budget: Continue reading School Districts Represented by GOP Members of Joint Finance Committee
The statewide success rate of school referenda on Tuesday’s (Feb. 16) primary election ballot could rekindle debate in the 2017-18 Legislature about restricting when school boards can place referendum questions before voters. Ten of the 13 questions (77 percent) placed before voters in Tuesday’s primary election were approved.
Voters in the school districts of Bangor, Independence, Jefferson, Marshall, New Glarus, Northland Pines, Oostburg and Rhinelander approved referenda. Voters in the Slinger School District approved two, both relating to school construction and remodeling. Voters in Hayward (two questions) and Prescott turned back attempts to exceed the revenue limits. Continue reading Schools’ Success in Passing Referenda May Rekindle Efforts to Restrict Such Votes
The Senate Elections & Local Government Committee held a public hearing on a proposal placing restrictions on referenda and other funding mechanisms Thursday (Jan. 14) at the state Capitol. The WASB Government Relations staff and WASB members were in attendance to testify.
Senate Bill 355 – Restrictions on referenda and other school funding mechanisms
Most of the attention went to this bill with most in attendance testifying in opposition to the bill including a strong presence from school board members and administrators. WASB would like to thank the following school board members for their advocacy:
- Duane Moseley, Montello (pictured)
- Doug Mering, Baraboo
Dan Rossmiller, WASB Government Relations Director, also testified in opposition to the bill. View the WASB testimony here.
The Senate Elections & Local Government Committee, chaired by state Sen. Devin LeMahieu (R-Oostburg), has scheduled a public hearing:
Thursday, January 14, 2016
201 Southeast, State Capitol
Amongst other proposals (see full agenda) the committee will hear:
Senate Bill 355 by Sen. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) & Rep. Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh) Relating to: limitations on borrowing by school districts and the use by school districts of resolutions and referenda to authorize bonding for capital projects or increase revenue limits and scheduling of school district referendums to exceed revenue limits.
WASB opposes this bill and encourages members to contact their legislators as well as committee members (see below). See Talking Points & Sample Materials Continue reading Alert: Senate Committee to Hear Referenda/Borrowing Restriction Bill
The author of Assembly Bill 481, state Rep. Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh), has introduced an amendment to his proposal to restrict when school boards may schedule school referenda and use certain types of borrowing.
Assembly Amendment 1 would reduce the bill’s original two-year (730-day) proposed moratorium period on additional referenda, bonding and borrowing following a failed referendum to one year (365 days). It also removes restrictions on short-term borrowing proposed as part of the original bill. All other restrictions on borrowing (e.g., promissory notes, state trust fund loans, etc.) would remain in the bill.
While these two changes can be viewed as positive changes they do not change the WASB’s opposition to this bill. Continue reading Amendment to Referenda/Borrowing Restriction Bill Offered
As Governor Walker toured northern Wisconsin this week WJFW Newswatch 12 in Rhinelander asked the governor about the proposals (Assembly Bill 481/Senate Bill 355) to restrict school referendums during a stop in Iron County:
The governor said he supports holding referendums on normal election days.
“I think it’s important that people have a chance on normally scheduled elections, when they anticipate a vote being taken on other issues, so that it’s not something that the taxpayers are caught off guard on or surprised by,” Walker says. Continue reading Governor Walker Indicates Support for Referenda Restrictions