WA Senate Considering Move to Lower Threshold for School Bond Passage
There's talk in the Washington Senate about the creation of an amendment to the state's laws governing the threshold for school bond measures to pass.
Currently, all school bonds put before voters in Washington must receive at least a 60-percent 'yes' to pass.
Twelfth District Sen. Brad Hawkins of East Wenatchee says unlike bonds, school levies in the state have a lower threshold for passage, and there's already been a lot of discussion this year about bringing the two more in line with each other.
"Both the Eastmont and Wenatchee School Districts have struggled to reach a 60-percent threshold but the levies have a lower threshold of 50 percent. So there's been some discussion here in Olympia about getting to a point where we can lower that threshold for bonds."
Hawkins adds that the idea has already been floated during previous legislative sessions but it would need to make sense for him to support another attempt.
"This was also attempted back in 2019. I voted against it then because that idea was to bring the threshold down to a simple 50-percent majority for bonds to pass. I don't support that but there might be an opportunity to find a middle ground. So that'll be an interesting discussion this year."
A bill on lowering the state's school bond threshold has yet to be introduced, but Hawkins says there is a Joint Resolution in the Senate regarding the matter.