I’m sure this scenario sounds all too familiar to frustrated Arizona taxpayers…
A school district decides to hold a bond or budget override election to request additional money, and you and your neighbors successfully defeat the measure at the ballot box. You breathe a sigh of relief assuming that the issue is settled, yet the following year the SAME EXACT REQUEST IS ON THE BALLOT! It is as if they completely ignored the election and will keep going to the voters until they get what they believe is the “right” answer.
If this is what it feels like, it is not your imagination. Under current Arizona law, school districts are permitted go to the voters as many times as they want to request a budget override, regardless of election outcomes. In fact, many districts that have voter approved overrides will go back to the ballot 3 or 4 times, if necessary, for a new override before the previous override has even expired.
Taxpayers shouldn’t be subjected to unending budget requests, and school districts should honor the will of the voters. That is why we are thrilled to see Sen. Yarbrough sponsor Senate Bill 1182, which would place a limit on how many times a budget override may be sent to the ballot. Under SB 1182, a school district will only be allowed to ask voters for one extension of an existing override. If the request fails, then the district must wait until the existing override expires before going back to the voters.
SB 1182 will be up for a vote in Senate Finance this week, so please contact the members of the committee and ask them to support this common sense reform. Let them know that the will of the voters should be respected.