Texas Bonds for Highway Improvement Projects, Proposition 12 (2007)
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Proposition 12 appeared on the statewide November 2007 ballot in Texas along with fifteen other statewide propositions; all of them passed. All sixteen ballot measures were legislative referrals voted onto the ballot by the Texas State Legislature.
|Texas Proposition 12 (2007)|
Statement of support
Supporters believe that the issuance on this bond is necessary in order to stop greater traffic congestion, provide upkeep of rural roads and help with border congestion.
- Supporters say there is an at least $77 billion state funding gap currently.
- These bonds would allow for a lower interest rate than Fund 6.
The Houston Courier
Dallas Morning News
- " Texas is behind in scraping up enough money to expand and maintain its system of roadways. Voters should say yes."
Statement in opposition
Opponents say that the state cannot afford to take on this additional debt.
- Borrowing would increase the state's costs in terms of forgone interest earned on cash balances and bring interest charges for new borrowing
- TxDOT, an agency that works with road construction, has not been forthright with the Texas legislature
- This money should not be tied up when it could be used to certify the budget
Texas Toll Party and others in opposition
Some critics of the Texas Department of Transportation have organized a group called TexasTollParty, which opposes the Proposition 12 bond issue. Sal Costello, who founded TexasTollParty, is fighting the bond issue because they believe it will lead to toll roads in the future. According to Costello,
"They will use every dollar they get to become a taxing authority and shift our public highways to tollways."
The group Americans for Prosperity has also announced that it opposes the bond issue.
- " If these "No New Taxes" Republicans want highways, let them pay for 'em up front, with appropriations that cost less and are directly accountable."
One letter to the editor in the Houston Chronicle from John Bowen, from Sugar Land, remarked
With the highest cost, Proposition 12 will give the Texas Department of Transportation a blank check of several billion dollars, and this deviation from the current pay-as-you-go policy could put Texas taxpayers in a precarious position down the road.
Text of measure
The short ballot summary voters saw on their ballot read: "The constitutional amendment providing for the issuance of general obligation bonds by the Texas Transportation Commission in an amount not to exceed $5 billion to provide funding for highway improvement projects."
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.
- Election results (From the drop-down menu, choose "2007 Constitutional Amendment Election")
- House Research Organization 2007 Report
- Bond proposals on November 6 ballot run the gamut Houston Chronicle
- Texas Toll Party
- Sal Costello's blog
- Propositions add funds for projects but boost state debt
- Proposition 12 language
- Proposition 2 will keep program alive, Houston Courier, Nov. 1, 2007
- We Recommend, Dallas Morning News, Oct. 23, 2007
- Austin Chronicle Endorsements, Austin Chronicle, Nov. 2, 2007
- Proposition 12 is a bad idea, Houston Chronicle, Oct. 26, 2007
- Texas Secretary of State, "Ballot Language For November 6, 2007 Constitutional Amendment"