Our board meeting agenda includes a consent agenda item called "Approval of Bills." These are bills which have already been paid. What happens if we vote NO on this item, or any of the individual bills in it?

The board is not required to approve bills that are part of budgeted expenditures.  The superintendent and the business official have the authority to pay those.  Better language if the board wishes to continue this as an agenda item would be to say they are "Reviewing Bills."  That way, you have a record that they have seen them, or at least had the opportunity to.  In fact, if the board voted "no" on approval of all those bills already paid, it would not change the district's obligation to pay them, and there would not be any liability to the superintendent or business official.  They have the authority to approve and pay those bills.  There is no point in this agenda item asking the board for approval of budgeted items already paid.

If a board member has an objection to an expenditure which has already been budgeted and is within the authority of the superintendent and business official to pay, they would have to make a motion and vote to direct the administration to not incur the cost before it occurs.

For more information on this question, Ask Betsy's Team.