AUSTIN— Today, the Texas Senate gave final approval to House Bill 477, a bill that brings uniformity and transparency to the debt issuance process. The bill calls for the creation of a voter information document, requires local governments to disclose more information related to the issuance of certificates of obligation, and increases the amount of information available on an election order authorizing the issuance of debt obligations.

“The local debt landscape is getting ready to change in some truly positive ways,” said Think Local Liberty’s James Quintero. “Voters will soon have a lot more local debt information made available to them. Armed with this information, Texans are going to be much better positioned to make informed decisions and hold their elected officials accountable.”

Quintero continued: “With these reforms in place, Texas will take a meaningful step in the right direction. And it’ll come at just the right time. The latest data suggests that local debt grew to a total of $354.6 billion in fiscal year 2018 or roughly $12,500 owed per Texan. That is an alarmingly high level of debt that needs to be on more people’s radar.”