Committee meeting held on bill that would limit when school districts can hold referenda

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MADISON -- A committee meeting was held in Madison on Thursday, January 14th on a bill that would allow school districts to hold referenda only during general elections in the spring and fall.

Rural school administrators testified -- saying the bill would devastate them because they spend a lot of money on busing, and regularly ask voters to approve referenda for operating expenses.

"It's not an abuse of power to go to a referendum. It's survival for us. We have to do it for survival. So I ask you to please allow for local districts to be able to do local control and decide what's best for each district," Michael Richie with the Northland Pines School District said.

"We don't think it's good policy to have an election where you have actually, kind of might be designed to have a small turnout. We want elections that are designed to have big turnouts because these are big decisions for communities to make, and we think the more people that participate, the better," Senator Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville) said.

The bill would also ban districts from going back to voters for at least one year after a referendum fails to pass.