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Bond Elections Ashley Fischer 26th Annual Election Law Seminar for Cities, School, and Other Political Subdivisions 02/14/2020 Texas Secretary of State Elections Division 1 Agenda

Sources of Law Types of Bonds Ordering a Bond Election Notice of a Bond Election Ballots Entity Specific Provisions Approval by the Attorney General 02/14/2020 Texas Secretary of State Elections Division 2

Sources of Law Election Code Government Code Local Government Code Water Code Health & Safety Code Transportation Code Etc.

02/14/2020 Texas Secretary of State Elections Division 3 Types of Bonds 1. General Obligation Bonds: Bonds that will be paid by general tax revenues. 2. Revenue Bonds: Bonds that will be paid by revenue from bond funded project/enterprise. Example: sports stadium. 3. Refunding Bonds: Refunding bonds replace or pay off an outstanding bond which the holder surrenders in exchange for new security. 4. Certificates of Obligation: Bonds issued to pay certain contractual obligations. Only counties and certain entities may issue certificates of obligation. 02/14/2020

Texas Secretary of State Elections Division 4 Bonds and Elections 1. General Obligation Bonds: Generally REQUIRE an election. 2. Revenue Bonds: May or may not require an election, depending on the source law. 3. Refunding Bonds: Seldom require an election. 4. Certificates of Obligation: May be issued without voter approval. However, notice must be posted and an election may be called if a petition signed by qualified voters is received. 02/14/2020 Texas Secretary of State Elections Division

5 Ordering a Bond Election Texas Election Code applies, election MUST be called on a uniform election date = May or November. (41.001) NOTE: Please check your special district law for any exceptions. 02/14/2020 Texas Secretary of State Elections Division 6 Ordering a Bond Election

Deadline for Ordering = Texas Election Code: 78 Days Before Election for general election for state and county officers (November general in even years) 71 Days Before Election for other uniform election dates. 02/14/2020 Texas Secretary of State Elections Division 7 Bond Election Order Election Notice ( 3.006) 1. 2.

3. 4. 5. date of the election offices/measures to be voted on at election location of each early voting places date that early voting will begin, if later than standard date dates and hours for early voting in an election in which the early voting clerk is not county clerk or city secretary; 6. dates and hours for voting on Saturday or Sunday, if county clerk of city secretary is not early voting clerk 7. early voting clerks official mailing address, if the early voting clerk is not county clerk or city secretary. 02/14/2020 Texas Secretary of State Elections Division

8 Bond Election Order If the election is for general obligation bond (secured by taxes) must follow NEW LAW: S.B. 637 from 83rd Legislature that added requirements to election order: 3.006 + 3.009 ORDER 02/14/2020 Texas Secretary of State Elections Division 9

Bond Election Order PART ONE : General Election Order ( 3.006) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. date of the election offices/measures to be voted on at election location of each early voting places date that early voting will begin, if later than standard date dates and hours for early voting in an election in which the early voting clerk is not county clerk or city secretary; 6. dates and hours for voting on Saturday or Sunday, if county clerk of city secretary is not early voting clerk 7. early voting clerks official mailing address, if the early voting clerk is not

county clerk or city secretary. 02/14/2020 Texas Secretary of State Elections Division 10 Bond Election Order PART TWO: NEW Bond Election Order Requirements 1. Proposition language that will appear on the ballot. 2. Purpose for which the debt obligations are to be authorized. 3. Principal amount of the debt obligations to be authorized. 4. Statement that taxes sufficient to pay principal and interest may be imposed. 5. Statement of the estimated tax rate. 6. The maximum maturity date of the debt obligations. 7. Current amount of the outstanding principal of the entitys debt obligations.

8. Current amount of the outstanding interest on debt obligations. 9. The ad valorem debt service tax rate for the political subdivision. 02/14/2020 Texas Secretary of State Elections Division 11 Posting Election Order If the election is for general obligation bond (secured by taxes) must follow NEW LAW: S.B. 637 for posting election order: WHERE WHEN Prominent location at each polling place.

On election day and during early voting. In 3 public places in boundaries of the Not later than the 21st day before the political subdivision holding the election. election. On political subdivisions website with During the 21 days before the election. notice of election and contents of proposition, if political subdivision maintains a website. 02/14/2020 Texas Secretary of State Elections Division

12 Posting Election Order - Cities Per Govt Code municipalities must also post substantial copy of election order at: 1. Three public places in municipality 2. City hall for municipality. 02/14/2020 Texas Secretary of State Elections Division 13 Notice of Election Notice of Election ( 4.004): 1. the nature and date of the election;

2. the location of each polling place; 3. the hours that the polls will be open; 4. any other information required by other law. 02/14/2020 Texas Secretary of State Elections Division 14 Posting Notice - Cities Notice of Bond Election for Municipalities: Govt Code + Election Code NOTICE Note: Refunding bonds excluded from this requirements.

02/14/2020 Texas Secretary of State Elections Division 15 Posting Notice - Cities How Publishing in Newspaper Deadline Not earlier than 30th day or later than the 10th day before the election. Publishing in Newspaper On the same day in each of two successive weeks.

The first publication must be not less than 14 days before the date of the election. Posting notice at a public place in each Not later than the 21st day before election day. election precinct. OR Mailing copy of the notice to each Not later than the 10th day before election day. registered voter. 02/14/2020 Texas Secretary of State Elections Division 16 Posting Notice Other Political Subs How

Publishing in Newspaper. Deadline Not earlier than 30th day or later than the 10th day before the election. Posting notice at a public place in each Not later than the 21st day before election election precinct. day. OR Mailing copy of the notice to each registered voter. 02/14/2020 Texas Secretary of State Elections Division

17 Ballots - Cities Contents of ballot proposition must have requirements of Election Code and Government Code: 1. Total principal amount of the bonds. 2. State purposes for which the bonds are to be authorized. 3. Rate of interest. 4. Imposition of taxes sufficient to pay the annual interest. 5. Maturity date of the bonds. 02/14/2020 Texas Secretary of State Elections Division 18

Ballots - Others Must only follow Election Code ( 52.072(e)): 1. The total principal amount of the bonds to be authorized, if approved. 2. A general description of the purposes for which the bonds are to be authorized. 02/14/2020 Texas Secretary of State Elections Division 19 Entity Specific Elections Please remember to consult with code provisions for districts!

02/14/2020 Texas Secretary of State Elections Division 20 Entity Specific Elections Drainage Districts Per 56.211 (c) and (d) of Water Code: (c) The notice shall be signed by the secretary and shall: (1) state the purpose of the election; (2) state the proposition to be voted on; (3) define the election precincts; (4) prescribe the polling places in the district; and (5) list the names of the election officers. 02/14/2020

Texas Secretary of State Elections Division 21 Entity Specific Elections, cont. Drainage Districts (d) The notice shall be published once a week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the district is located, but if a newspaper is not published in the county, the notice shall be published in the nearest county. The first publication shall be at least 20 days before the day of the election. 02/14/2020 Texas Secretary of State Elections Division

22 Entity Specific Elections, cont. Development of Employment, Industrial and Health Resources Per 1433.046: In addition to Chapter 3 of Election Code, order must include location of each polling place and election judges and clerks appointed for each polling place. 02/14/2020 Texas Secretary of State Elections Division 23 Approval by OAG

[A]fter approval by the attorney general and registration by the comptroller and on issuancethe bonds are valid, enforceable, and incontestable in any court. Tex. Gov. Code Ann. 1202.006 (Vernon 2012). 02/14/2020 Texas Secretary of State Elections Division 24

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