Update on School Referendum Restriction Bills

stroebelSince 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.

Senate Bill 192/Assembly Bill 279 by Sen. Stroebel & Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin) – Fund 46 partial match program.

Senate Bill 193 by Sen. Stroebel & Rep. Thomas Weatherston (R-Caledonia) – Creating a general aid penalty for exceeding revenue limits by referendum and allowing school boards to rescind revenue limit increases previously approved by referendum.

  • SB 193 has been referred to the Senate Education Committee, chaired by Sen. Olsen.
  • No Assembly companion has been introduced as of this writing.

Senate Bill 194/Assembly Bill 269 by Sen. Stroebel & Rep. Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh) – Require referenda to be scheduled on general election dates.

Senate Bill 195/Assembly Bill 268 by Sen. Stroebel & Rep. Janel Brandtjen (R-Menomonee Falls) – Eliminate referenda to exceed revenue limits on a recurring (permanent) basis.

Senate Bill 187/Assembly Bill 274 by Sen. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) & Rep. John Macco (R-Ledgeview) – Disclosure of debt issuance referendum costs.

Stay tuned here at the Legislative Update and look for future Action Alerts from WASB as developments warrant.

The WASB’s current resolutions on referenda are as follows:

1.25 Authority to Schedule Referenda
The WASB opposes limits on scheduling referenda.

2.40 (a) Additional Revenue Limitations
The WASB opposes any additional limitations on school revenues that will force decreases in revenue to public school districts. This includes, but is not limited to: freezing property tax levies; creating a moratorium on school district referenda; delaying payments to school districts; and adopting a constitutional regulation of school finance.

2.87 Single Referendum Question
The WASB supports allowing school boards to combine resolutions to borrow money and to exceed the revenue limits in a single referendum question.