Governor plans to sign school referendum legislation into law

(WMC-TV) - Martavius Jones, a unified school board member and Transition Planning Commission member is disappointed with the governor's plan to sign legislation that would allow cities in the Shelby County suburbs to hold referendums on whether or not to create their own school systems.

"He had previously indicated that he wanted to give the TPC time enough to get its work done," said Jones.

Jones doesn't want suburban residents to vote when they haven't heard the TPC's plan. Though, Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald, also a TPC member, says that shouldn't be a problem.

"The TPC plans to have it's first draft ready by the end of June and some final draft by August, so there is going to be a lot of information towards a final product when the citizens get to vote in August," said McDonald.

Jones says the final word might not rest with the governor.

"The governor can sign it, but it's going to be the attorney general's opinion who says whether or not this is constitutional," Jones added.

The mayor doesn't expect this to be a problem since the bills were re-written to change the language of the first bill that the attorney general said was unconstitutional.

"I would suspect that the new opinion would be more favorable for us," said McDonald.

The governor received the bill Thursday and has until May 15th to make a decision.

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