|SAME AS||SAME AS S07584|
|Amd §416, Ed L|
|Limits the time periods when a special district meeting for the purpose of voting on a school bond may be conducted.|
|01/23/2018||referred to education|
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NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A9549 SPONSOR: McDonald
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to limiting the time periods when a special district meeting for the purpose of voting on a school bond may be conducted   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To encourage greater turnout at elections that impact school budgets, bonds, and taxes by increasing the likelihood that such votes will be held on a primary or general election day and creating predictability surrounding the dates the elections are held.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Sections one amends subdivision 3 of section 416 of the Education Law to provide that school bond votes must be held within certain dates. Section two establishes the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: This legislation would create a blackout period during which certain school district bond votes cannot be held. Currently, the individual school districts hold votes on issues such as bond referendums at their absolute discretion which leads to voters not knowing that elections are occurring or finding out after the fact. Votes are sometimes scheduled during times where it would be expected that turnout will be low includ- ing: the winter season, the week after a general election day, the week before Christmas, and other dates without consistency which has the practical impact of impeding turnout. The result of few voters for these important bond votes may not be the intent but the public perception, witnessed by extraordinary low voter turnout, is otherwise. The current system creates several problems including lack of participation in a matter that has far reaching impacts in the community and the accrual of significant costs to the school district when multiple elections are held on a single issue due to low turnout. By creating more predictabil- ity and increasing the likelihood that these important issues will be voted on during established election dates, voters will vote on these important issues at a time and date that that is consistent with their voting schedule and the financial burden will be alleviated by stream- lining the voting process. This bill also speaks to the legitimate concern raised by school districts to allow flexibility for when they need to schedule a vote outside of the already established election days. By creating black-out periods for votes this bill prevents unduly burdening existing resources and will hopefully lead to timely approval of projects to avoid delays and additional costs while encouraging public participation in the proc- ess.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect January 31, 2019.
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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 9549 IN ASSEMBLY January 23, 2018 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. McDONALD -- read once and referred to the Commit- tee on Education AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to limiting the time periods when a special district meeting for the purpose of voting on a school bond may be conducted The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 416 of the education law, as 2 amended by chapter 171 of the laws of 1996, is amended to read as 3 follows: 4 3. No addition to or change of site or purchase of a new site or tax 5 for the purchase of any new site or structure, or for grading or improv- 6 ing a school site, or for the purchase of an addition to the site of any 7 schoolhouse, or for the purchase of lands and buildings for agricul- 8 tural, athletic, playground or social center purposes, or for building 9 any new schoolhouse or for the erection of an addition to any school- 10 house already built, or for the payment or refunding of an outstanding 11 bonded indebtedness, shall be voted at any such meeting in a union free 12 school district or a city school district which conducts annual budget 13 votes in accordance with article forty-one of this chapter pursuant to 14 section twenty-six hundred one-a of this chapter, unless a notice by the 15 board of education stating that such tax will be proposed, and specify- 16 ing the object thereof and the amount to be expended therefor, shall 17 have been given in the manner provided herein for the notice of an annu- 18 al meeting. In a common school district the notice of a special meeting 19 to authorize any of the improvements enumerated in this section shall be 20 given as provided in section two thousand six. The board of education of 21 a union free school district or a city school district which conducts 22 annual budget votes in accordance with article forty-one of this chapter 23 pursuant to section twenty-six hundred one-a of this chapter, may deter- 24 mine that the vote upon any question to be submitted at a special meet- 25 ing as provided in this section shall be by ballot, in which case it 26 shall state in the notice of such special meeting the hours during which 27 the polls shall be kept open. Printed ballots may be prepared by the EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD14274-01-8A. 9549 2 1 board in advance of the meeting and the proposition or propositions 2 called for in the notice of the meeting may be submitted in substantial- 3 ly the same manner as propositions to be voted upon at a general 4 election. No school district in the state, however, shall conduct a 5 special district meeting for the purpose of voting on a school bond, as 6 authorized in this section, between the general election through March 7 first of the following year and between the fourth Wednesday in June 8 through the first Monday in September. 9 § 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.