Governor vetoes funding sources for schools’ energy efficiency projects

On May 4, the governor vetoed a bill passed by the Legislature that would expand an existing authority of school districts to levy property taxes and issue bonds for capital projects to include energy efficiency projects.

LB283, introduced by Malcolm Sen. Ken Haar, would include energy efficiency projects in the $0.052 levy school districts receive for the Qualified Capital Purpose Undertaking Fund (QCPUF). Currently, QCPUF allows expenditures for environmental hazards, accessibility barriers, life safety code violations, indoor air quality and mold abatement.

In his veto message, Gov. Dave Heineman wrote that “the expanded scope and reduced oversight” in the bill could result in increased property taxes. Bond issues for energy efficiency projects should not be outside of the levy limits unless approved by a public vote, he said.

The Legislature passed the bill on a 27-19 vote April 28. Haar has not yet filed a motion to override the governor’s veto.

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