-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Follow-up question below
Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2011 16:49:32 -0500
From: Heather Harward
To: Gardner Selby <wgselby@statesman.com>

Yes, technically, the Legislature could appropriate money for non-self-supporting bonds in the future. But as of today, based on the will of the 82nd Legislature and the direction provided to lawmakers by Texans, the bonds are completely self-supporting.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment, Gardner.

Heather Harward

From: Gardner Selby [mailto:wgselby@statesman.com]
To: Heather Harward
Sent: Tue, 25 Oct 2011 12:49:52 -0500
Subject: Follow-up question below

An  excerpt (with my bolding) from http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/82R/fiscalnotes/html/SJ00004E.htm :

"This joint resolution includes bond authority that would comprise a mixture of self-supporting debt and non-self-supporting debt.  Any non-self-supporting debt that receives a General Revenue appropriation for debt service would impact the state's constitutional debt limit (CDL).  TWDB can only issue  non-self-supporting debt with the authorization of the Legislature.  For the purposes of calculating the CDL, this entire authorization would be considered self-supporting and would not have an impact on the CDL until the Legislature authorizes the issuance of non-self-supporting general obligation water bonds.
Article III, Section 49-j of the Texas Constitution limits the authorization of additional state debt if the percentage of debt service payable from the General Revenue Fund exceeds 5 percent of the average annual unrestricted General Revenue Fund revenues for the previous three fiscal years.  As of the end of fiscal year 2010, the Bond Review Board estimates the constitutional debt limit for issued, and authorized but unissued debt, to be 4.10 percent."

My q: How does the non-self-supporting debt authorized by the proposed constitutional amendment not cost state taxpayers?


W. Gardner Selby
Editor, PolitiFact Texas
Austin American-Statesman

Visit our site: www.politifacttexas.com
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2:40 pm, Oct. 28, 2011:

Under current law, there is no cost to state taxpayers.  

You can speculate what the Legislature might or might not do in the future, but as you know, one Legislature cannot bind a future Legislature.  Prop 2 does not encumber any state funds.


 Thanks, HH