Today, January 9, 2019, the House Committee on County Affairs Interim Report was released. Chair of the Committee Representative Garnet Coleman (D-147) released the following statement:
“Today the House Committee on County Affairs interim report was published online. Click here to read it. I thank all my committee members for signing on to the report: Vice-Chair Drew Springer (R-Gainesville), Rep. Todd Hunter (R-Corpus Christi), Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford), Representative Victoria Neave (D–Mesquite), Representative Kevin Roberts (R-Houston), Representative Tomas Uresti (D-San Antonio), Representative Shawn Thierry (D-Houston), and Representative Kyle Biedermann (R-Fredericksburg).
One of the most important recommendations in this report is that the Texas Legislature should consider issuing general obligation (GO) bonds to help areas effected by Harvey. Issuance of general obligation bonds with debt services from the Economic Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day Fund) can provide adequate funding to aid in local disaster recovery. While local governments have a mechanism to apply for federal disaster recovery funds, the federal funds are not enough and there is no comparable dedicated state fund. Despite various public-financing options available to local governments, many counties and cities lack the ad valorem tax base and other revenue sources to properly fund debt issuance. Thus, it is the report’s recommendation that we issue GO bonds to help our fellow Texans rebuild.
The report also has other important recommendations regarding diversion into family drug courts before CPS removal, improving behavioral health in schools, and other key recommendations to improve county government to better serve Texans.”