85(R) - 2017
Relating to the operations of certain metropolitan rapid transit authorities.
current law, the governing board of a rapid transit authority, except in certain
circumstances, may only issue bonds that are secured by revenue or taxes. The
bond may not have term lengths longer than 12 months and may only be payable
from revenue or taxes received once the bond has been issued.
Bill 1644 amends current Transportation Code by adding an exception so that governing
board of any authority confirmed before July 1, 1985 that operates in a city
that has a population of less than one million would have the ability to extend
the limit on the term of a bond to no more than 15 years.
Vote Recommendation Notes
Though this is a local bill, it would have the effect of circumventing the will of voters through the provisions being repealed in the bill. Currently, Capital Metro is prohibited from issuing short-term debt or bonds secured by the revenue of the authority for any part of a rail transit system unless the system is approved through a referendum. Austin voters have been presented more than one proposal on a fixed rail system and have rejected it. Allowing the authority to pursue such bonds without the referendum in contradictory to the principle of local government and accountability. For this reason, we oppose SB 1644.