Texas Legislature Agrees On $3.3 Billion Bonding Bill For University Construction Projects

  • by:
  • Source: Forbes
  • 10/20/2021
As the clock ticked down on its third special session this year, the Texas legislature passed a bill that would authorize more than $3.3 billion in revenue bonds for dozens of construction and renovation projects at public universities and health facilities across the state.

Senate Bill 52 now goes to the desk of Governor Greg Abbott for his signature. Last week Abbott had amended the special session’s agenda at Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s request to include “legislation to improve higher education,” allowing lawmakers to take up the issue. (During a special session, legislators can’t pass new laws that the governor has not put on the agenda.)

The total tab for the final bill increased from the Senate's original version of about $3 billion, after the House included more than $200 million in additional projects in its version.

The bill passed both chambers easily, with broad bipartisan support. The vote in the House was 131-8, and in the Senate, the bill passed by a margin of 30-1. The final deal was reached through a conference committee compromise that redistributed some of the funding. At the end of the day, public institutions in every region in the state received a share of the money.