Senate again passes Schoesler bill to help school districts address maintenance needs

For the second time in nearly a year, the Senate has approved a bill introduced by Sen. Mark Schoesler that would help school districts in Washington address their building maintenance needs.

Senate Bill 5202 would allow school districts to create a “depreciation subfund” that can receive a transfer of up to 2 percent of a school district’s general fund each fiscal year.

After originally passing the bill 44-4 last February, the Senate today again approved it, this time on a 46-2 vote.

“This bill would provide another path for school districts to handle building- or facility-maintenance needs,” said Schoesler, R-Ritzville. “Sometimes it can be better for a school district to pay cash for a building repair or to set aside money for emergencies when they arise. Establishing this subfund is a way to help students learn in a healthy environment since school buildings would be in better condition.

“School administrators have recognized the value of this proposal, and I’m pleased that nearly all of my Senate colleagues again approved this bill today.”

Senate Bill 5202 now returns to the House of Representatives for further consideration. During the 2021 legislative session, the bill was passed by the House Education Committee but did not reach the House floor for a vote. After that session ended, Schoesler’s bill reverted to the Senate, prompting today’s revote.