Office of House Bill AnalysisS.J.R. 37
By: Lucio
Financial Institutions


Currently, inadequate development and substandard housing conditions along
the Texas-Mexico border are prohibited by state law. However, many
neighborhoods, known as colonias, were built in this region prior to 1989
when legislative reform began. Since little housing is available or
affordable to the residents of these colonias, many Texas residents
continue to live in neighborhoods without basic services.  As proposed,
S.J.R. 37 requires the submission to the voters of a constitutional
amendment authorizing the issuance of state general obligation bonds to
provide financial assistance to counties for roadway projects to serve
border colonias.  


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this resolution
does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


S.J.R. 37 amends the Texas Constitution to provide that the legislature may
authorize the governor to authorize the Texas Public Finance Authority or
its successor to issue general obligation bonds of the State of Texas in an
aggregate amount not to exceed $175 million and to enter into related bond
enhancement agreements in order to fund financial assistance to counties
for roadways to serve border colonias. Proceeds may be used only to provide
financial assistance to counties for projects to provide access roads to
connect border colonias with public roads. 

The bill authorizes the Texas Transportation Commission, in its discretion
and in consultation with the office of the governor, to determine what
constitutes a border colonia for purposes of selecting the counties and
projects that may receive assistance.  The bill provides that a portion of
the proceeds from the sale of the bonds and a portion of the interest
earned on the bonds may be used to pay the cost of administering authorized
projects.  The bill provides that while any of the bonds or interest on the
bonds is outstanding and unpaid, there is appropriated out of the general
revenue fund in each fiscal year an amount sufficient to pay the principal
of and interest on the bonds that mature or become due during the fiscal
year, including an amount sufficient to make payments under a related bond
enhancement agreement. 


This proposed constitutional amendment shall be submitted to the voters at
an election to be held November 6, 2001.