Minnesota lawmaker calls for restricts on levy votes

Minnesota lawmaker calls for restricts on levy votes Click to Enlarge Photo:

Nov 2, 2011 at 11:44 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The chairman of the Minnesota House Education Finance Committee is proposing to restrict votes on school levies to even-numbered years, when history shows they are less likely to be approved.

Rep. Patrick Garofalo, R-Farmington, described his bill Wednesday. It comes less than a week before about a third of Minnesota school districts go to their voters for more money on Tuesday.

Voter turnout is almost always higher on even-numbered years, when races for state and federal offices are on the ballot. Garofalo says school levy votes deserve the attention of more voters.

An analysis by the Minnesota Department of Education has found that school referendums held during odd-year elections pass at rate of more than 70 percent. The pass rate falls to 52 percent on even-year elections.

The Minnesota School Boards Association opposes the proposal, saying that voters in odd-year elections are better informed because they aren't caught up in partisan races for Congress and the White House.

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