Texas Mobility Fund, Proposition 15 (2001)

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The Texas Mobility Fund Amendment, also known as Proposition 15, was on the November 6, 2001 ballot in Texas as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. The measure created the Texas Mobility Fund to finance the construction, reconstruction, acquisition, operation and expansion of state highways, turnpikes, toll roads, toll bridges and other mobility projects.[1][2]

Election results

Texas Proposition 15
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 543,759 67.72%
No259,18832.28%

Election results via: Legislative Reference Library of Texas

Text of measure

Ballot title

The ballot title voters saw on their ballot read as:[3]

The constitutional amendment creating the Texas Mobility Fund and authorizing grants and loans of money and issuance of obligations for financing the construction, reconstruction, acquisition, operation, and expansion of state highways, turnpikes, toll roads, toll bridges, and other mobility projects.

[4]

Full text

The full text of the measure can be read here.

Constitutional changes

Proposition 15 added Section 49-k to Article 3 of the Texas Constitution.

Ballot summary

The state government provided an explanation of Proposition 15 which read as follows:[3]

Texas currently finances roads through what has been commonly

called a “pay-as-you-go” approach, meaning that roads are not built until the necessary money is available. The major sources of this money are motor vehicle registration fees and taxes on motor fuels and lubricants, most of which have been dedicated to road- and traffic-related uses since 1946, and money provided by the federal government.

Until recently, this method of financing roads has been sufficient to meet the state’s transportation needs. However, many of the roads built after the initial dedication of registration fees and motor fuel and lubricant taxes have aged to the point that they need repair or replacement. The population of the state, and consequently the number of vehicles on the roads and amount of miles traveled, has increased dramatically. Trade-related traffic resulting from the North American Free Trade Agreement has caused a significant increase in the use of the state’s highways. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, the state has only 36 percent of the money needed to keep up with the growth in need of transportation facilities.

The proposed amendment is designed to allow transportation projects to be begun and completed earlier than would be possible under the current approach. The state would borrow the money needed to begin the projects immediately by selling bonds, and then repay the bonds as the revenue for that purpose becomes available later. To speed up the construction of toll roads, the amendment would remove existing limitations on use of state money for toll road purposes.

The legislature has enacted two bills to carry out the authority granted by the proposed amendment, contingent on the approval of the amendment by the voters. Senate Bill No. 4 would provide for the operation of the Texas Mobility Fund and the issuance of highway bonds. Senate Bill No. 342 would provide for state participation in toll projects. Although the proposed amendment would allow the legislature to dedicate a source or amount of revenue to the Texas Mobility Fund, the legislature has not yet provided for such a dedication. [4]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing direct democracy in Texas

As laid out in Article 17 of the Texas Constitution, in order for a proposed constitutional amendment to be placed on the ballot, the Texas State Legislature must propose the amendment in a joint resolution of both the Texas State Senate and the Texas House of Representatives. The joint resolution can originate in either the House or the Senate. The resolution must be adopted by a vote of at least two-thirds of the membership of each house of the legislature. That amounts to a minimum of 100 votes in the House of Representatives and 21 votes in the Senate.

See also

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External links

References


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