Community colleges get changes for bond ballots

A new state law will give Rogue Community College and other community colleges increased flexibility in seeking voter approval of bond measures.

House Bill 3116, sponsored by Rep. Peter Buckley, D-Ashland, Rep. Sal Esquivel, R-Medford, and Sen. Alan Bates, D-Ashland, enables colleges to hold districtwide elections on bond measures.

Under 1996 legislation that annexed Jackson County into the RCC district, the college could hold bond measure elections by county or service area only. The new law gives RCC, as well as Blue Mountain, Columbia Gorge and Southwestern Oregon community colleges, the option to put funding questions to all district voters or just those in specific counties or service areas.

The four affected community college districts have grown into adjacent counties and wanted the option of either separate or districtwide votes.

The law becomes effective Jan. 1.

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