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House Bill 393 — Outlier school bond and levy elections

House Bill 393 — Outlier school bond and levy elections

Lindsay Atkinson
February 4, 2020

Bill description: HB 393 would eliminate two outlier election dates, one held on the second Tuesday in March and the other held on the last Tuesday in August.

Rating: +2

Does it in any way restrict public access to information related to government activity or otherwise compromise government transparency or accountability? Conversely, does it increase public access to information related to government activity or increase government transparency or accountability? 

Currently, Idaho law allows four election dates for school districts to propose to voters a bond or levy question. These dates are the second Tuesday in March, the third Tuesday in May, the last Tuesday in August and the Tuesday following the first Monday in November. 

Two of these dates (the March and August dates) are outlier dates, on which only a handful of other elections can be held (on these dates, recall elections can also be held). HB 393 proposes to eliminate these outlier elections. 

Eliminating these outlier dates would increase voters’ ability to hold government accountable, as voter turnout is consistently higher at the May and November elections than in the March and August elections.


Does it increase government spending (for objectionable purposes) or debt? Conversely, does it decrease government spending or debt?

By eliminating two outlier election dates, HB 393 would save taxpayers from election costs. Removing these outlier dates would specifically save money on the county level, as counties would not have to hold an entire election for just one or two questions. And this bill would make this change without harm to school districts, as they would only have to wait a few more months to put their bond or levy question on the May or November ballot. 


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