LANSING — After unanimously passing the Senate earlier this month, State Representative David Rutledge’s (D-Superior Township) legislation, House Bill 4517, was signed yesterday morning by Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley. The bill, which allows consolidated school districts to refinance bonds in the original school district territory, passed the House in June with a nearly unanimous vote.

“I have been impressed by the broad, bipartisan support this legislation has received in both the House and Senate,” said Rutledge. “This is a perfect example of across-the-aisle cooperation resulting in public policy that can make a real financial difference in the lives of residents.”

In 2013, two financially distressed school districts in Washtenaw County, Willow Run Community Schools and Ypsilanti Public Schools, consolidated to form Ypsilanti Community Schools. HB 4517 allows a consolidated school district, which did not assume the bonded debt of its original school district, to refinance the bond of the original school district and continue to limit the debt levy to the district’s territory. The adjustment is expected to result in more than $3.3 million in savings for taxpayers in the two former school districts.

“This change will have a measurable impact on hardworking families, and I’m proud to have helped make it happen,” said Rutledge. “Lower taxes means more money to spend in the local economy, more money to spend on your family and more money to support your community. This fix is quick, easy and commonsense.”