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Topic: Highline Public Schools

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February 18, 2015 at 5:00 AM

Olympia Watch: Should school bonds pass with majority vote?

Photo by Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times

Photo by Greg Gilbert / The Seattle Times

Some lawmakers want to make it easier for school construction bonds to pass in Washington state.

Under a bill proposed by 44 Democrats and one Republican, a school bond on a general election ballot would need only a simple majority to pass — instead of today’s required 60 percent approval.

At least one recent school bond in Highline Public Schools, which gained 55 percent approval in the Feb. 10 special election, would have succeeded if a simple majority was all it took. In the past five years, three bond measures in the Lake Washington School District have also gained more than half the popular vote, but failed because they fell short of the 60 percent mark.

If lawmakers back the idea, voters would ultimately get the final say; lowering the 60 percent supermajority to 50 percent would require a Constitutional amendment, which voters must authorize.

The House Education Committee is scheduled to vote on the bill Thursday. You can watch live video of the meeting, which starts at 8 a.m., here.

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Comments | More in News | Topics: Highline Public Schools, Lake Washington School District, Olympia Watch