Sen. Kahns cost-saving school election measure approved
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
LANSING — Legislation designed to save schools and taxpayers more than $2 million by consolidating school elections was approved by the Michigan Senate Tuesday, said Sen. Roger Kahn, a sponsor of the package.
“These are simple changes to state law that will have a tremendous economic impact for schools across Michigan,” said Kahn, R-Saginaw Township. “Considering our current economic climate we need to do everything we can to ensure tax dollars are spent wisely. By reducing election costs by $2 million, we can ensure that more of our tax dollars go to our classrooms and children.”
Senate Bills 751 through 756 (including Kahn’s measure SB 754) would move school elections to August or November election dates.
Currently, most schools hold school board elections in May. Turnout for these elections is often below 10 percent and the board elections are often the only items on the ballot, meaning school districts must foot the bill for the election.
Approximately 110 of the roughly 600 school districts in the state have voluntarily moved their elections to August or November as a cost-saving measure. Estimates indicate that holding all school board elections in conjunction with August or November elections could reduce costs by more than $2 million.
“I look forward to these vital cost-saving measures being approved quickly by my colleagues in the House,” Kahn said. “Our schools need these proposed laws on the books now.”
Kahn also has sponsored SB 737, which would cancel school district or local elections if only one candidate is on the ballot for each open office, there are no ballot questions and the deadline to declare as a write-in candidate has passed.
SBs 751 through 756 now go to the House of Representatives for further consideration.
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