Sunday, May 16, 2010

Education Conference Committee Report Hits House Floor. HF 2072, the omnibus E-12 funding and policy conference committee has just hit the House floor and Representative Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) has just moved to send it back to conference committee. That motion will likely fail, the bill will pass, and then be sent to the Senate, where it will likely pass as well. The inter-body friction that has plagued the negotiating process over the past few years is still present, however, and I never take anything for granted.

The finance centerpiece of the bill is the board authority to renew an operating referendum for the same amount and term as the existing levy. It's not a controversial proposal, but that doesn't mean it hasn't generated opposition. The Governor is on record as being skeptical of the provision as he sees it as eroding the taxpayers' ability in a school district seeking to renew a referendum to have a serious discussion of that question. That is not the case, as there is a reverse referendum mechanism in the provision that would force a district to put the renewal on the ballot as opposed to renewing at the board level.

Here's what needs to happen--assuming the bill passes the Senate and I am assuming it will--to get the Governor to sign this bill. If you have a referendum up for renewal before July 1, 2016, it is absolutely imperative that you contact the Governor's office once the bill passes the Legislature and urge (nay, demand) him to sign the omnibus education funding bill.

I will be providing more insight as the bill proceeds through the process today.

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