Texas voters approved about 75% of the bond proposals on the Nov. 5 ballot, representing $3.92 billion of new money for cities, counties, schools and other special districts, results show.
Of the 92 bond proposals valued at $5.26 billion, 62 passed, representing a 75% pass rate, according to the political consulting firm Strategic Partnerships in Austin.
"The more than 60 bond issues that passed will result in millions of dollars' worth of contracting opportunities for private-sector firms of all sizes," Mary Scott Nabers, chief executive of Strategic Partnerships, wrote in her report. "And those issues that failed could be prime opportunities for public-private partnerships, as many of the entities with failed bond issues will be looking for other revenue sources."
A plan to set aside $2 billion from the state's rainy-day fund for water development projects passed easily with about 72% of votes favoring the proposal. According to legislation enabling the water measure known as Proposition 6, the new water fund can be used to lower interest rates on water bonds issued by local utilities.
"Now it's time to get to work on the projects that'll help us meet our growing water needs, preserving and improving both our economic strength and quality of life," Gov. Rick Perry said after the vote.
In Harris County, about 53% of voters have voted against Proposition 2, which asked taxpayers for a $217 million bond to convert the former football stadium into what officials called "The New Dome Experience." With the vote in, the world's first domed stadium is expected to face the wrecking ball 47 years after it began hosting the Houston Astros baseball games.
While school bond issues generally received favorable outcomes, voters in the Katy Independent School District rejected a $69 million football stadium by a 54-46 margin, according to district officials.
"This defeat shows that this Katy ISD administration and school board have become institutionally arrogant," opponent George Scott told the Houston Chronicle. "They lost sight of the fact that people in the community are dedicated to public education but also care about spending money wisely. This was simply the worst structured bond I have seen in my entire professional career."
By contrast, more than 72% of voters in the Fort Worth ISD approved three bond proposals totaling $490 million, one of the largest on local ballots across the state. School officials said they plan to begin immediately seeking contracts for the bond work to begin.