Senate Education Committee clears Wilk bill

Senator Scott Wilk of the 21st district.

A bill allowing Bond Oversight Committee members to serve up to 12 years instead of six was cleared by the Senate Education Committee 7-0 on Wednesday.

Authored by Senator Scott Wilk, Senate Bill 341 seeks to improve public oversight of school facility bonds, a statement from Wilk’s office said.

“Glad to report my bond oversight improvement measure, SB 341, cleared Senate Education today without opposition,” Wilk posted on Twitter.

The senate bill will be beneficial because BOC members can be difficult to find because few people match education code criteria, there is a loss of expertise when members’ terms expire and longer terms allow members to see the bond from beginning to end, according to a statement from Wilk’s office.

“Voters want to make sure there’s a nexus between their vote for a school bond and facilities delivered,” Wilk said in the statement. “SB 341 will ensure that citizen oversight committees have experienced qualified members so facilities are built on time and on budget.”

A bond oversight committee consists of a minimum of seven members which include a senior representative, a Parent Teacher Association member and a taxpayer. The BOC is required to regularly report to the school district board and is mandated to have an annual financial and performance audit.

School facility bonds are approved by a simple majority rather than a two-thirds vote. A number of oversight provisions exist to compensate for the lower voter threshold, according to Wilk’s office.

The bill will now go to the full senate for consideration.


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