As I've written previously, a bipartisan group of state leaders have proposed CAB, or Capital Appreciation Bond, reform. The Senate version, (SB 449 authored by Sen. Juan Hinojosa) passed by a resounding vote of 28-3. Now the House version, (HB 3416) is languishing in the Ways and Means Committee.
Last week Leander ISD Trustee Pam Waggoner skipped the district's board meeting to attend a hearing on the House bill and argued that her district could not live without CABs that would allow them to defer debt for 30-40 years (and lead to a monstrous total debt burden of $2.7 billion).
Below is a communication I received from a concerned resident asking for help with this issue:
Last Thursday in a public hearing LISD told the Texas House Ways and Means Committee that they couldn't live without CABs, that LISD kids would be stuck in portable buildings! The brokers and some of the school districts turned out in droves to fight House Bill 3416 which would severely limit CABs, both to 20 years length instead of 30 or 40years and to 20-25% of the debt ratio per student for a district. Not perfect, BUT WE NEED THIS BILL to slow LISD's insane spending. It's our ONLY hope as LISD looks at issuing another $173 million bonds using CABs to drive our debt toward $4 BILLION. The Bill is "pending", according to Rep. Flynn's office (the author) it is being tweaked and if we want it voted on and not languishing to die, we need to call and let them know they've been mislead by LISD and the Wall Street interests that are making millions off these CABs.
I told them that a group of citizens here has worked for 2 years begging LISD to stop using CABs, and that they refused to listen. I told them that virtually no voters in LISD actually know about the CABS, much less understand them, since LISD did absolutely NOTHING to tell voters in advance about their decision to incur the CAB debt before they issued them. Then they used them to build lavish, extravagant facilities that would rival a private college campus, not just to replace portables.
Please call or fax Chairman Hilderbran's office TODAY and talk to his staff. Let them know what you think about CABS! The more calls they get, the sooner it will be voted on. If you can think of anyone, please ask them to call to. Let's get this bill out of committee before LISD and Wall Street kill it!
Rep. Hilderbran, Harvey
(512) 463-1449 Fax
Rep. John Otto (R) Vice Chair
(512) 463-0315 Fax
Rep. Dwayne Bohac (R)
(512) 463-0681 Fax
Rep. Angie Chen Button (R) Angie Chen
Rep. Craig Eiland Craig (R)
(512) 936-4260 Fax
Rep. Allan Ritter (R)
(512) 463-1861 Fax
Rep. Mark Strama (D)
(512) 463-1199 Fax
Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (D)
(512) 463-4873 Fax
Rep. Naomi Gonzalez (D)
(512) 463-0931 (Fax)
Please note: At this point, calls are more effective than emails.