Dem Legislator Seeks to Lower Requirement to Pass School Bonds
A Democratic legislator has submitted a bill that would lower the threshold for passing school bonds in our state from 60 to 55 percent.
26th District Senator Emily Randall (Gig Harbor, Port Orchard) has submitted SB (Senate Bill) 5386, which would require only 55% approval for bonds instead of 60%.
Time and time again, Washington voters have rejected this kind of idea. In 2007 voters approved a Constitutional amendment allowing levies to only require 55% but bonds stayed at 60. Levies are for day to day operations and tend to cost less, while bonds are often more expensive and deal with building new schools, infrastructure, etc.
We sometimes hear reports about Districts failing to pass bonds, despite them claiming they need more schools or upgrades. Often the general consensus is voters and the public want schools to absolutely justify the need, and present it in the most cost-effective way possible. It's considered a form of accountability.
Two years ago, Democratic Senator Mark Mullen proposed legislation lowering the threshold to 55 percent, but it did not pass.
Now, Randall's bill is up for consideration. Given the educational and societal climate with COVID right now, perhaps not a great idea to be pushing to make bonds easier; considering tens of thousands of students are still not back in the classroom.
To see more about this proposal, and a section where you can comment on the bill, click on the button below.