HBA-JLV C.S.S.B. 1296 77(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.S.B. 1296 By: Lucio Financial Institutions 5/7/2001 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE 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. C.S.S.B. 1296 authorizes the issuance of general obligation bonds and notes to aid counties in roadway improvement projects to serve colonias. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY 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. ANALYSIS C.S.S.B. 1296 amends the Government Code to require the Texas Public Finance Authority (authority), in accordance with requests from the office of the governor, to issue general obligation bonds and notes in an aggregate amount not to exceed $175 million and as directed by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), distribute the proceeds from the sale of the bonds and notes 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 or notes to be issued at any one time by the authority and the times at which the bonds or notes are issued. The bill requires the Texas Transportation Commission (commission) to establish a program to administer the use of the proceeds of the bonds and notes. 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 Development. 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. The bill authorizes the authority to enter into one or more credit agreements at any time for a period and on conditions the authority approves. EFFECTIVE DATE 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. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE C.S.S.B. 1296 modifies the original to require the Texas Public Finance Authority (authority), in accordance with requests from the office of the governor, to issue general obligation notes in addition to bonds. The substitute removes provisions that would require the authority to enter into related bond enhancement agreements and instead authorizes the authority to enter into one or more credit agreements at any time for a period and on conditions the authority approves. The substitute sets forth the definition of a credit agreement.