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A09549 Summary:

BILL NOA09549
 
SAME ASSAME AS S07584
 
SPONSORMcDonald
 
COSPNSRD'Urso, Montesano, Byrne, Lawrence, Galef, Harris
 
MLTSPNSRBarclay, Thiele
 
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.
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A09549 Actions:

BILL NOA09549
 
01/23/2018referred to education
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A09549 Memo:

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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A09549 Text:



 
                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.
                                                                   LBD14274-01-8

        A. 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.
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