No more unusual dates for bond elections

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The Senate gave final passage Tuesday to SB34 to allow special bond elections only once a year during regular November elections.

It was approved on a 29-0 vote, and sent to Gov. Gary Herbert for his signature.

Its sponsor, Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, who is also president of the Utah Taxpayers Association, said earlier that holding bond elections at other times has led to approval of tax increases that are "decided by less than 5 percent of the voters," simply because most did not know a special election was occurring.

He said forcing bond issues or other voter-approved tax hikes to occur at the regular general or municipal elections should increase turnout, and help improve voter education.

The House had amended the bill to make it effective on July 1, to allow bond elections already planned for June this year to proceed.

— Lee Davidson