House Joint Resolution No. 23
Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________
A Joint Resolution of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the state of Montana Requesting an Interim Study of Combining School Elections; and Requiring a Report of the Findings of the Study to the 56th Legislature.
WHEREAS, section 20-20-105, MCA, establishes the first Tuesday in April of each year as the regular school election day and also provides for special school elections at any time determined necessary by the local school trustees; and
WHEREAS, Title 20, chapter 20, MCA, establishes procedures for conducting school elections that are distinct from those provided in Title 13, MCA, for other jurisdictions; and
WHEREAS, Montana citizens would like to see a decrease in the number of school elections held by school trustees to reconsider bond or levy propositions that were defeated at elections held earlier in the year; and
WHEREAS, a majority of citizens believe that schools should be allowed to consider propositions with fiscal impacts only one time each calendar year; and
WHEREAS, costs could be saved if all school elections were held annually, either at the general election in November or at an established annual primary election in June; and
WHEREAS, school trustees would be more knowledgeable in preparing budgets if trustee elections occurred prior to the enactment of budgets.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
(1) That an appropriate interim committee be assigned to study:
(a) the current dates and the procedures used for school elections within the state;
(b) the procedural concerns with limiting or moving school elections, including but not limited to the effects on school budgeting procedures, overlapping precinct and school district boundary concerns, differences between election procedures provided for in Title 13, MCA, and Title 20, MCA, and collective bargaining issues; and
(c) the possibility of having school elections conducted by local election administrators and of moving school elections to coincide with state and local elections held on the general election day on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November or establishing an annual primary date for all elections.
(2) That the interim committee conduct the study in consultation with representatives of the Secretary of State, the Office of Public Instruction, the Board of Public Education, and representatives of affected school organizations.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the interim committee report the findings of the study to the 56th Legislature and present options for legislative consideration if the committee determines that options are necessary.