FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Contact: Kristen Schulze Muszynski
Office: 626-8404/ Cell: 441-7638
Citizens? initiative for K-12 education fund found valid with 66,849 signatures
AUGUSTA ? The citizens? initiative petition effort to establish a fund for the advancement of K-12 education has been found valid, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap confirmed today.
The petitions for ?An Act To Establish the Fund To Advance Public Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education,? had been in circulation since Oct. 19, 2015. On Feb. 1, 2016, the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions received 19,832 petitions with 88,242 total signatures of those who support the initiative.
Staff members at the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions have completed the process of certifying all of the petitions and have found 66,849 valid signatures, while 21,393 were not valid. A minimum of 61,123 signatures from registered Maine voters is required in the citizens? initiative process, thus the petition has been deemed valid by Secretary Dunlap. The decision can be viewed here.
The initiative to establish this K-12 education fund will now go to the Legislature for consideration, per the provisions of the Maine Constitution. The Legislature can choose to enact the bill as written or to send it forward to a statewide vote in November 2016.
According to the proposed bill summary, this legislation seeks to improve the ability of the State to reach the annual target of 55 percent, as specified in statute, for the state share of the total cost of funding public education from kindergarten to grade 12, and to increase direct support for student learning rather than administrative costs. Visit http://maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/citizens/index.html to view the proposed legislation in its entirety.