Two stories today about people undermining Project Connect. One is a story of bad faith conservative posturing, and the other is a story of misplaced liberal faith in city planning.
Ellen Troxclair's performative obstruction
Vexed that the voters of Austin decisively approved a tax rate increase to fund an ambitious public transit system, State. Rep Ellen Troxclair, the former GOP City Council member for Southwest Austin District 8, wants to create a new hoop for the city to jump through to get the trains running.
Troxclair has introduced a bill along with Sen. Paul Bettancourt, R-Houston, that will require the Austin Transit Partnership, the agency set up by the city and Cap Metro to oversee Project Connet, to seek voter approval before it can issue debt to finance the construction of the transit system.
Here's the relevant language:
That's cute. Except the ballot proposition voters approved in November 2020 not only authorizes a tax increase, but authorizes ATP to issue debt backed by the new tax revenue.
Here's the entire ballot proposition, with the relevant language highlighted in blue.
So it looks like the city has already satisfied the requirements proposed by this bill.
But let's assume that there's some legal nuance I am missing, and this bill does force the city to seek additional approval from voters. That does nothing to advance fiscal responsibility or to readdress the supposed wrongs alleged by opponents of Project Connect.