House Bill 218, the first comprehensive reform since 1963 to the laws under which Idaho school districts issue bonds, was adopted by the 2013 Idaho Legislature and signed into law by Governor Otter on March 29, 2013. Hawley Troxell identified several of the issues in need of reform, drafted the language of the bill, and worked with the Idaho Association of School Business Officials and others to inform legislators about the bill and secure its passage. In addition to elimination of obsolete provisions and technical corrections, the bill also increased the allowable maturity of a school bond from 20 years to 30 years, which will assist school districts to lessen the annual impact on tax levies. All bonds are still subject to 2/3 voter approval.
State Representative Wendy Horman, (R), Idaho Falls, introduced the bill, secured its unanimous approval of the House Education Committee, of which she is a member, and acted as floor sponsor in the House, where it passed 43-25. The bill passed the Senate 29-6.
Hawley Troxell partner, Nick Miller, who leads Hawley Troxell’s bond counsel engagements for a number of school districts and devised the amendments to the current law, said in addition to Rep. Horman, others were instrumental in the bill’s passage, including Eric Heringer of Seattle Northwest, Rich Bauscher of Middleton School District, Tom Taggart of Lakeland School District and chair of the school business officials association, and Pam Wade of Cassia School District and past chair of the school business officials association.