Introduced by Rep. Doug Hart (R) on May 24, 2001, to allow school districts to use “sinking fund” taxes for a wider variety of purposes. Under current law, sinking funds are permanent funds which may be used only for the purchase of land, or the construction or repair of school buildings. Regular school bonds may be used to fund a wide array of activities. Schools may levy up to five mills for sinking fund debt. The expanded uses proposed by the bill potentially include items considered operating expenses. Since new operating expense millages were prohibited by a vote of the people in the 1994 Proposal A initiative, it is likely that the bill would require a 3/4 majority vote in the House and Senate. This supermajority is required by the Constitution on any bill amending an initiative adopted by popular vote.
Referred to the House Transportation Committee on May 24, 2001.
Substitute offered in the House on December 13, 2001, to replace the previous version of the bill with a version recommended by the committee which reported it. Under the substitute, schools would not have to use the term "sinking fund" on the ballot, but could label it by another descriptive term, such as "infrastructure investment fund". The substitute passed by voice vote in the House on December 13, 2001.