Laredo State Senator's Proposed Legislation Would Put $46 Mil Toward Muni Building Redo

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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.
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16 comments
Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

http://www.dallasnews.com/shar...

Dan Branch GOP Dude from Dallas Was at this in early December Almost Same quote as this .Says Zaffirini in her release, "The economy is recovering slowly, interest rates and construction costs are relatively low .

I wonder if No he is a Republican and she is a Democrat they couldn't be .....

Jay
Jay

Oh....so suddenly we now care whether government spending is necessary? Its not a matter of needing more lawyers or another university downtown, its about sharks gathering for their bi-annual spending-frenzy.

State Senator Judith Zaffirini's (D-Laredo) wish list spending proposal represents approximately 15% of the projected state deficit. She's as clueless as Speaker Boehner (R-Ohio), who proposes to cut congressional staff budgets by a paltry 5% despite a federal deficit which exceeds a cool 1.3 trillion per year.

warden62
warden62

And yet all state universities are going to be asked once again this fiscal year to give back another 5%, in addition to the 5% from last year. I'm wondering why these new buildings just can't wait.

ScurvyOaks
ScurvyOaks

The post on Tex Parte says "According to Cynthia Hall, the director of system and external relations for the University of North Texas System, by December construction crews will begin the interior renovations to the building at 1901 Main Street on downtown Dallas’ east side to create a law library for the planned UNT at Dallas College of Law."

So the renovations that were supposed to start in December were at 1901 Main, not Old City Hall. Are you sure that those haven't started?

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

It would be interesting to get a read from the legal community as to whether or not there is real demand for a new law school in Dallas; also, a realistic assessment of employment prospects for grads of same.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Do we know the total amount needed to restore the Municipal Building? I wonder how far that $46M gets us to the planned vision in the pretty picture above. And how about private fundraising? I imagine there are many powerful, wealthy lawyers willing to contribute.

LaceyB
LaceyB

Yeah. That's exactly what UTD needs is another engineering nerdicool building. Has she even been to the campus? Best digs on the lot--alumnus (fair enough, Buckeye) speaking.

What we need is a place to party that doesn't reek of high-mass cleaning products, like the very old union. And by party, I don't mean, "who's bringing the orange soda?" Many of my talented Indian friends called that a party in between 10 hr study breaks. Amateurs.

Or frankly, give 'em the stupid building. Buy every student a flask as a welcome gift bearing the school's name. That should do the trick to show UTD is a real college, not just a lame-ass night school/foreign den of studying.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

You're absolutely correct. My bad. I misread the item in haste and have corrected the item. I will also make calls this morning to see if the work's begun. Thanks.

Guest
Guest

I'd like to see employment and demand statistics for the 17 different MBA programs in the city.

Heck, UT-Arlington started a new graduate journalism program just a few years ago. Where was the demand for journalists with a graduate degree (I have an advertising degree from UT-Arlington. I found out it was actually easier to sell a screenplay than it was to get an entry-level job in advertising when I graduated).

Bill Holston
Bill Holston

I don't think there's any demand for a new law school from the legal community. There are too many lawyers now. Top graduates from existing schools are having a hard time getting jobs. I believe the days to going to law school, because you don't know what you want to do when you grow up, are drawing to an end.

I'm glad to see something going into that building, but to answer your question, this is not about a demand for lawyers.

I wish these young folks well, but I'd think twice about it.

Oliver Wendell Homey
Oliver Wendell Homey

You need hard walls to hang the stodgy portraits that provide a sense of security and tradition to those willing to feed the educational industrial complex.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

We won.t need a lot of Attorneys. Once the John Roberts supreme Court really starts handing down Decisions.

LaceyB
LaceyB

Changed it, just for you! :)

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