A subscription-only piece in the Bond Buyer this morning directs our attention to S.B. 272, which was introduced December 17 by state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, a D from Laredo. The proposed legislation would authorize the issuance of $3.2 billion in tuition-backed revenue bonds to fund what Zaffirini calls in a press release "74 critically-needed construction projects at 53 Texas higher education institutions," among them the University of Texas at Dallas and the University of North Texas System.
The bill calls for putting $63 million toward "a library and student success center" at UNT-Dallas; $76.5 million toward "a bioengineering and science building" at UTD; and $52 mil toward "south campus building renovation and repair" at UT-Southwestern Medical School. But Zaffirini's proposed legislation would also have direct impact on downtown Dallas, as the bill calls for funelling $46 million toward renovating the Municipal Building, which will one day, so they say, become the UNT at Dallas College of Law, where classes are supposed to begin by fall 2012.
Says Zaffirini in her release, "The economy is recovering slowly, interest rates and construction costs are relatively low and Texas university enrollments are spiraling upward. This is the perfect time to invest in these projects that would create jobs and have a dramatic economic multiplier effect on our state." Renovations were supposed to have started in December on 1901 Main Street, future home of a library intended for the law school.