Schodorf introduced bill to reduce notice of some bond sales

Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf, who is considering a run for the United States Congress, doesn’t have much regard for citizens’ right to know of impending sales of municipal bonds.

A bill, Senate bill 154 from the 2007 session and introduced by Schodorf, is cast in the usual legislative language, and therefore is difficult to understand. So I will quote from the Supplemental Note for Senate Bill 154 as follows:

“SB 154, as amended, would amend a provision of the general bond law governing the sale of municipal bonds by providing that a city would be allowed to issue up to $2.0 million in certain municipal bond sales before a published notice of sale would be required. … Under current law, a public notice of sale is required for municipal bond sales greater than $100,000.”

The effect of this proposed legislation introduced by Schodorf would be to let more bonds be sold without publication of notice. The bill died in the Kansas House of Representatives and did not become law.

The rationale given for allowing bonds to be sold without publication is that publication increases the cost of the bonds.

Publication also increases the ability of citizens to know what’s going on, too. I think that’s more important.

In the end, this legislation, if it had become law, might not have made much of a difference. The quaint practice of publishing legal notices in newspapers is likely to come to an end someday, replaced by email and websites.

On Facebook, the City of Wichita’s Government Relations Director Dale Goter left this comment to this article:

Bob, allow me to offer some corrections to your report. The bill, as earlier noted, was requested by the City of Wichita. As enacted, it provides for public notice. The purpose of the legislation was to LOWER special assessment costs, saving property owners money by creating a more competitve environment for certain bond issues. It was ultimately passed with overwhelming support in both houses. The final version also had the blessing of the Kansas Press Association. It is a great example of how cities work with the legislature to SAVE money for taxpayers and property owners.

2 Comments

  • Thomas Witt -

    This looks like a bill introduced at the request of the City of Wichita, and at the time (winter of 2007), it would have come from Mayor Carlos Mayans. Bob, did you call Senator Schodorf and ask her the background on this bill? Or are you just making an assumption?

    FYI, the bill passed the Senate without amendment, and was amended by a House … Read Morecommittee. For anyone who’s interested, http://www.kslegislature.org/bills/2008/154.pdf is the full text of the bill. The only “new” Senate language is in italics; House committee amendment is in bold. All the plain text was then-current statute.

    It would be interesting to know who in the Senate voted for this, and who in the House amended and then passed it out of committee. I think your reporting would be more fair if it included those details.

  • Carlos Mayans was no longer the Mayor during the Winter of 2007. Try again.

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