SPENDING PUBLIC FUNDS FOR ADVOCACY
The Board of Education recognizes that C.G.S. § 9-369b prohibits the expenditure of municipal funds to influence a vote on a pending referendum question. This includes the dissemination of printed materials and the preparation of video and website presentation. The Superintendent is directed to avoid violating this prohibition which applies to in-kind expenditures as well as direct expenditures of money. Individuals violating this prohibition are personally liable.
The Superintendent or Board members may respond to a constituent request for information concerning the referendum, including personal views.
The District will not use its automated calling system, electronic mail, text, telephone or other electronic or automated means for the purpose of reminding or encouraging parents/guardians and students about the time, date and place concerning referenda and encouraging them to vote. This prohibition shall not apply to a regularly published newsletter or similar publication.
The Board recognizes that school officials and Board members retain their First Amendment rights to express their position on the proposed school budget or other referendum questions. The prohibition contained in this policy only pertains to the expenditure of public funds.
It is further recognized that individuals, individually or collectively, can spend private funds to advocate for a referendum result, as they see fit, as permitted by the regulations of the State Elections Enforcement Commission.
The Board further recognizes the statutory right of any community member to bring a complaint if such individual claims to have been aggrieved in connection with a referendum by (1) an election official's ruling, (2) a mistake in the vote count, or (3) a violation of prohibited acts concerning absentee voting. A person may file a complaint with the Superior Court.
Legal Reference: Conn. Gen. Stat. § 9-369b.
Litchfield Board of Education
Policy Adopted: 8/25/1998
Policy Reviewed: 11/5/2008
Policy Revised: 12/19/2019