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1-9-12 November School Elections Bill - Information as of this morning
A4394/S3148 "Establishes procedures for districts, municipalities, or voters to OPT to move the annual school election to November and eliminates vote on school budgets for such districts, except for separate proposals to spend above cap" The Bill states it is “Effective Immediately” upon passage…

School Budget Approval Processes - to remain the same...If this bill passes in both houses today, it will go directly to the Governor's desk for signature to become law. We are told it is highly probable that the Governor will sign...click here on More for bill 'Statement' which describes parameters of this legislation...

 

A4394/S3148

 

Establishes procedures for districts, municipalities, or voters to opt to move the annual school election to November and eliminates vote on school budgets for such districts, except for separate proposals to spend above cap

 

This legislation states it is “Effective Immediately” upon passage…

 

 

 

ASSEMBLY BUDGET COMMITTEE - STATEMENT to ASSEMBLY, No. 4394  with committee amendments

 

 STATE OF NEW JERSEY-

DATED:  JANUARY 5, 2012

 

The Assembly Budget Committee reports favorably Assembly Bill No. 4394 (2R), with committee amendments.

 

      As amended, this bill establishes procedures for moving the date of a Type II school district’s annual school election to the day of the general election in November.  Under the first procedure, the question will be presented to the voters for their approval if a petition signed by not less than 15% of the number of legally qualified voters who voted in the district at the last preceding general election held for the election of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States is filed with the board of education.  Under a second procedure, the date of the annual school election may be moved to November without voter approval, upon the adoption of a resolution by the board of education of the district or the governing body or governing bodies of the municipality or municipalities which comprise the district.  If the district’s annual school election is moved to November, then the district’s board members will be elected in November and take office at the beginning of January; and any proposal for additional funds above the school district’s tax levy cap would also be presented to the voters at that time.  A district that has moved its annual school election to November would not require voter approval for its base budget, which is a budget with a proposed tax levy that does not exceed its tax levy cap.  If the date of the annual school election is moved to November, then a district may not move the school election to the third Tuesday in April until at least four annual school elections have been held in November.

 

      In addition to the procedures described above that allow a school district to move the date of its annual election to November, in the event that all of the constituent districts of a limited purpose regional school district approve moving the date of their annual school elections to November by any of the procedures established under the bill, then the annual school election for the limited purpose regional school district will also be held in November.

 

      A school district that moves its annual school election to November will continue to be required to submit its budget to the Commissioner of Education for approval.  If, however, a district determines when it is preparing its budget to seek voter approval for additional funds over its tax levy growth limitation, that district will submit a temporary budget to the commissioner.  The temporary budget may not exceed the district’s tax levy growth limitation calculated pursuant to N.J.S.A.18A:7F-37 et al.

 

      If the voters approve the proposal for additional spending, the board of education will submit the resulting final budget to the commissioner and the tax levy for the school year will be recertified to reflect the additional amount.  The bill directs the Director of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs and the Director of the Division of Taxation in the Department of Treasury, in consultation with the Commissioner of Education, to take such action as deemed necessary for the delivery of estimated tax bills for districts adopting a temporary budget and any necessary subsequent recertification of the school tax levy.  If the voters disapprove the proposal for additional funds, the district’s temporary budget will be its final budget for that school year.

 

      This bill does not alter the process for the approval of budgets for school districts which conduct their annual school election on the third Tuesday in April.  The bill also does not alter budget approval in Type I school districts.  In Type I districts the board of education submits the district budget to a board of school estimate for approval.  If the board of school estimate reduces the district’s proposed budget, the district may appeal the reduction to the Commissioner of Education.  These districts will also continue to submit proposals for additional funds over their tax levy cap to the board of school estimate for approval.

 

 

 

FISCAL IMPACT:

 

      The Office of Legislative Services (OLS) notes that the bill may lead to a minimal, albeit indeterminate, decrease in expenditures among school districts that move the annual school election to coincide with the November general election.  School districts record expenditures for election services under general administration, other purchased professional services.  The OLS determined that this expenditure category accounted for 0.08 percent, on average, of Type II districts’ total audited general fund expenditures for the 2009-2010 school year.  As such, the OLS anticipates that the bill will lead to a minimal expenditure decrease in most situations in which a school district chooses to change the date of the school election.

 

      There is one specific circumstance in which the bill may lead to an expenditure increase in certain communities.  The bill provides that a limited purpose regional school district or any of its constituent school districts may change the date of its annual school election even if the other does not.  As such, it is plausible that a given community may have two separate school election dates each year, one for the constituent school district, and one for the limited purpose regional school district, yielding an overall increase in costs.

 

 

 

COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS:

 

      The amendments provide that the question of moving the date of a school district’s annual school election will be presented to the voters at the general election.  The bill in its original form also allowed the question to be presented to the voters at an annual or special school election.

 

      The amendments clarify that a local or regional school district may utilize the procedures outlined in the bill to move the date of its school election, and eliminate the requirement that each of the constituent districts of a limited purpose regional school district must approve moving the date of the annual school election for any of the constituent districts or the limited purpose regional district to move the date of the school election.  The bill does, however, continue to provide that if all of the constituent districts of a limited purpose regional school district approve moving the date of the annual school election, then the annual school election for the limited purpose regional school district will also be held on that date.

 

      The amendments eliminate the requirement that the Department of Community Affairs promulgate regulations concerning the delivery of estimated tax bills and the recertification of the tax levy in the case of a school district which is adopting a temporary budget pending the approval of the voters of additional spending.  The amendments provide instead that the Director of the Division of Local Government Services and the Director of the Division of Taxation, in consultation with the Commissioner of Education, will take action deemed necessary in regard to estimated tax bills and tax levy recertification.

 


Garden State Coalition of Schools
160 W. State Street, Trenton New Jersey 08608
609-394-2828