For years, when Washington state school districts have wanted to build new schools, renovate others, refurbish or otherwise improve teaching facilities, they usually rely on a school bond.  A bond differs from a levy, which is largely maintenance and regular operations. These votes are often hard to pass, as they require a 3/5 or super majority of votes, at least 60 percent. This bill would change that.

House bill 1778, sponsored by 31 members of the state house, mostly from the west side, would change that so a simple majority vote.  How do bonds differ from levies?

A levy is a tax, that is applied to citizens throughout a city, county or district. Bonds are generally confined to new construction, and refurbishments that don't fall under general maintenance levies. Levies are used to help the general fund and keep the school district operating.

Bonds are used to build new schools, or remodel schools, in most cases, especially if a District doesn't have the resources on hand to do so.

HB 1778 would require only a simple majority of voters to approve school bonds, for example, instead of having to pass a measure by a vote of 60-40 percent, a bond could pass 52-48 percent or even 51-49. The bill was introduced Monday,  it's headed for committee to determine if it will make it to the House floor for a vote.



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