Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 1296
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.  Senate Bill 1296
authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds to aid counties in
roadway improvement projects to serve colonias.  


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to the Texas Transportation Commission in
SECTION 1 (Section 1403.002, Government Code) of this bill. 


Senate Bill 1296 amends the Government Code to require the Texas Public
Finance Authority to issue general obligation bonds in an aggregate amount
not to exceed $175 million,  enter into related bond enhancement
agreements, and as directed by the Texas Department of Transportation
(TxDOT), distribute the proceeds from the sale of the bonds to counties to
provide financial assistance for colonia access roadway projects to serve
border colonias.  The bill requires the office of the governor to determine
the amount of bonds to be issued at any one time by the authority and the
times at which the bonds are issued. The bill requires the Texas
Transportation Commission (commission) to establish a program to administer
the use of the proceeds of the bonds.  TxDOT is required to administer the
program in cooperation with the office of the governor, the secretary of
state, and the Texas A&M University Center for Housing and Urban

The commission, in cooperation with the office of the governor, is required
to determine the counties and the colonia access roadway projects that are
to receive financial assistance and the amount of assistance given to a
county or project.  The commission, in cooperation with the office of the
governor, is also required, by rule, to: 

 _define "border colonia";
 _establish criteria for selecting which areas and which colonia access
roadway projects are eligible for assistance; 

 _establish minimum road standards a county's colonia access roadway
proposal must meet to be awarded a grant; 

 _establish grant application procedures; and

 _establish financial reporting requirements for counties that receive
assistance for colonia access roadway projects to serve border colonias. 

This Act takes effect on the date on which the constitutional amendment
authorizing the issuance of state general obligation bonds to provide
financial assistance to counties for roadway projects to serve border
colonias takes effect.  If that amendment is not approved by the voters,
this Act has no effect.