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S.F. No. 2393 - Special Elections for School Board Vacancies
 
Author: Senator Katie Sieben
 
Prepared By: Alexis C. Stangl, Senate Counsel (651/296-4397)
 
Date: March 8, 2016



 

S.F. No. 2393 changes when special elections are required to fill a vacancy on a school board.

Section 1 requires a vacancy on a school board to be filled by appointment. The appointee serves until either a special election is held or the term expires, depending on the timing of the vacancy. A special election is required if the vacancy occurs 21 days before the first day to file affidavits of candidacy for the next school district general election and more than two years remain on the unexpired term; the appointee serves until the winner of the special election is elected and qualified. The special election is held with the school district general election. No special election is required if the vacancy occurs later than 21 days before the first day to file affidavits of candidacy for the school district general election or when less than two years remain on the unexpired term; in this case, the appointee serves for the remainder of the unexpired term. Paragraph (b) provides an exception to the general rule on special elections. If a vacancy on a school board occurs because the board removes a member, a special election is required if more than one year remains on the unexpired term.

Section 2 repeals two sections that are replaced by the new language in Section 1.

Section 3 provides for an immediate effective date.

Background.  In 2015, the law on filling school board vacancies was amended in Session Laws 2015, chapter 70, article 1, sections 2, 3, and 63. These sections require a school board to hold a special election to fill a vacancy if more than one year remains in the unexpired term; an appointment may be made to fill a vacancy if less than one year remains on the term.  A public hearing must be held before the appointment is made.

S.F. No. 2393 repeals the provisions from 2015 and replaces it with language that is similar to the language that was in place in 2014. The main differences between the 2014 language and the language proposed by S.F. No. 2393 is the language found in paragraph (b), starting on line 1.23 to 1.24.  This paragraph provides that if  a vacancy on a school board occurs because the board removes a member, a special election is required if more than one year remains on the unexpired term.  No similar language was in the 2014 law.

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