Wednesday, February 13, 2008

School Construction Bill on Fast Track; Will Get Valentine's Day Hearing

Proposed legislation aimed at easing the financial burdens of constructing new school facilities in the state, introduced this week by the House speaker and Senate president, is headed for a hearing before a Senate committee tomorrow.

HB 1335, labeled the "Building Excellent Schools Today" Act by its sponsors, calls for a statewide needs assessment, process for the selection of schools to receive construction funding, and the expenditure of up to $1 billion in funds to build new facilities.

The sponsors say that the bill does not contemplate any new taxes or fees to pay for its objectives.

The hearing before the Senate Education Committee will take place Thursday, Feb. 14 at 1 pm in the West Foyer of the Capitol. Among the witnesses expected to testify in support of the bill are Treasurer Cary Kennedy, an eastern Colorado school superintendent, a member of the state Board of Education, and business leaders and parents.