The bill authorizes the creation of early childhood development service districts (districts) to provide services for children from birth through 8 years of age. Early childhood development services are defined to include early care and educational, health, mental health, and developmental services, including prevention and intervention. Districts are authorized to seek voter approval to levy property taxes and sales taxes in the district to generate revenues to provide early childhood development services.
The district must be organized pursuant to the 'Special District Act' as modified by the bill. Under the bill, all eligible electors in the proposed district, rather than only property owners, are able to vote on the organization of the district and related ballot issues. The service plan for a proposed district is not required to be submitted to the planning commission for each county in which the special district is proposed to be located, and instead is submitted directly to the board of county commissioners (board) for such counties. In addition, the bill directs that the board shall not accept or act upon the request of a person owning property in the proposed service area to have his or her property excluded from the special district. The court conducting a hearing for the petition is also directed to not accept or act upon such a petition to exclude property from the district. The districts are governed by the 'Special District Act'; except that they are not subject to provisions concerning the inclusion or exclusion of property, procedures for the levy and collection of taxes, the certification and notice of special district taxes for general obligation indebtedness, property tax reduction agreements, and public improvement contracts.
A district is authorized to contract with or work with another district or other provider of early childhood development services to provide services throughout the district.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)