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Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations - 83rd R.S. (2013)

Committee Members
Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Chair
Robert Nichols, Vice Chair
Sylvia Garcia
Ken Paxton
Larry Taylor
Charges
• Study and make recommendations to increase transparency in the authorization, issuance, and appropriation of debt at the local level. Make recommendations that will increase citizen awareness and understanding of a local government's fiscal state. Analyze reforms such as requiring local governments to move bond elections to a uniform date coinciding with state general elections, and requiring local governments to publicly post their annual budgets, annual financial reports, and check registers online. Survey other states’ initiatives to increase transparency in the process of local governments incurring new debt obligations.
• Examine the immediate and long-term fiscal impact that bonds and other types of obligations issued by local governments have on current and future generations of taxpayers. Specifically analyze whether local governments should be required to use ballot language that includes their current outstanding debt, existing per capita debt, current debt service, and any increase the ballot measure would have on property taxes. Make recommendations on additional ballot language that will better inform voters of their local governments’ current and future fiscal states.
• Study the structure of county government and report on ways to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of county government operations.

Note:
Senator Sylvia Garcia appointed 3/11/2013 (Press release, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, 3/11/2013).

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