This website will be unavailable from Friday, April 26, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. through Monday, April 29, 2024 at 7:00 a.m. due to data center maintenance.




Thursday, April 17, 2014

10:00 AM

Houston, Texas




Pursuant to a notice posted in accordance with Senate Rule 11.10 and 11.18, a public hearing of the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations was held on Thursday, April 17, 2014, in the Houston, Texas.







Senator Juan Hinojosa, Chair



Senator Robert Nichols, Vice Chair



Senator Sylvia Garcia



Senator Ken Paxton



Senator Larry Taylor






The chair called the meeting to order at 10:05 AM. There being a quorum present, the following business was transacted:


The chair and members of the committee made opening remarks.


The chair laid out the following interim committee 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.

The following persons provided invited testimony (see attached witness list).

At 12:13 PM Senator Hinojosa moved that the Committee stand recessed subject to the call of the chair. Without objection, it was so ordered.

At 12:25 PM Senator Hinojosa reconvened the meeting.

The following persons provided public testimony (see attached witness list).

There being no further business, at 1:11 PM Senator Hinojosa moved that the Committee stand recessed subject to the call of the chair. Without objection, it was so ordered.



Senator Juan Hinojosa, Chair



JD Pedraza, Clerk