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Walker Supports Restricting Options For When Public School Referendums Are Held

Spring, Fall General Elections Would Improve Voter Participation, Says Governor

Gage Skidmore (BY-SA)

Gov. Scott Walker says he supports legislation that would restrict when local school districts can hold referendums to raise revenues, asserting it would get more taxpayers involved in the process.

Republican state lawmakers are circulating bills to restrict how and when school districts can ask taxpayers for additional revenues. One bill would only allow referendums during spring and fall elections. If a referendum question fails, that district would also have to wait two years before bringing it to voters again.

Walker said aligning referendums with elections will improve participation in the process.

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“It’s great that voters are given a chance, but they should be given an opportunity, particularly at a minimum, at times when there are regularly scheduled elections,” said Walker.

A second bill would block districts from using referendums to pay for energy efficiency projects.

Authors said the bills are about protecting taxpayers. Critics said they’re stripping local control.