Thursday, March 7, 2019
Things you need to know:
- SB 1161 Update
Clarification on ASBA position on SB1161 school facilities; revisions
It has come to our attention there is some confusion regarding ASBA’s neutral position on SB1161, which passed the Senate yesterday.
ASBA does not support some of the language stated in the bill, which is that districts may not accept a bid for the sale or lease of a school property that is lower than the bid offered by a charter school or private school. However, that provision is already law as a result of the passage last year of HB2460, which ASBA did oppose. This bill restates those provisions and repeals last year’s bill because of technical statutory issues. SB1161, as amended, does slightly improve that law by eliminating the fair market value provision for leasing vacant facilities. The practical effect of SB1161 failing to pass is that HB2460 remains in place.
ASBA also objected to the “rent control” provisions of SB1161, and as amended, the bill requires only that districts provide a rationale for a proposed increase at the end of a lease term as a starting point for negotiations. Finally, the bill as amended removes the requirement to mention vacant buildings in a bond pamphlet, which we also opposed. Regardless of feelings about whether or not the leasing policy is a good idea, ASBA’s primary concern was removing those portions of the bill that we found to be most concerning and harmful to school district interests. Those parts have been removed. What remains is a modification of the current report by the SFB on vacant space, which does, to be fair, require it to consider alternative uses for space rather than just a pupil-per-square foot formula. The provisions limiting the ability of school districts to negotiate their own lease agreements without state regulation have been removed, and now require only that districts provide a rationale for proposed increases outside the lease terms as a starting point for negotiations. For these reasons, ASBA has changed its position to neutral. If you would like any further information about this or any other issue, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get back to you ASAP.