Article III, Section 49-j of the Texas Constitution

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Added November 4, 1997:

(a) The legislature may not authorize additional state debt if the resulting annual debt service exceeds the limitation imposed by this section. The maximum annual debt service in any fiscal year on state debt payable from the general revenue fund may not exceed five percent of an amount equal to the average of the amount of general revenue fund revenues, excluding revenues constitutionally dedicated for purposes other than payment of state debt, for the three preceding fiscal years.

(b) For purposes of this section, "state debt payable from the general revenue fund" means general obligation and revenue bonds, including authorized but unissued bonds, and lease-purchase agreements in an amount greater than $250,000, which bonds or lease purchase agreements are designed to be repaid with the general revenues of the state. The term does not include bonds that, although backed by the full faith or credit of the state, are reasonably expected to be paid from other revenue sources and that are not expected to create a general revenue draw. Bonds or lease purchase agreements that pledge the full faith and credit of the state are considered to be reasonably expected to be paid from other revenue sources if they are designed to receive revenues other than state general revenues sufficient to cover their debt service over the life of the bonds or agreement. If those bonds or agreements, or any portion of the bonds or agreements, subsequently requires use of the state's general revenue for payment, the bonds or agreements, or portion of the bonds or agreements, is considered to be a "state debt payable from the general revenue fund" under this section, until: (1) the bonds or agreements are backed by insurance or another form of guarantee that ensures payment from a source other than general revenue; or (2) the issuer demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Bond Review Board or its successor designated by law that the bonds no longer require payment from general revenue, and the Bond Review Board so certifies to the Legislative Budget Board or its successor designated by law.

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Steve Smith

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