Frequently Asked Questions - Q35


Question:

SUBSECTION EIGHT of the proposed charter amendment specifies who may sue for enforcement of the amendment. Isnít it better to also have a mechanism in place for reasonable assurance that the amendment will be complied with in the first place?

Answer:

That mechanism does exist. Note that SUBSECTION TWO provides that the city controller must first certify that the planned budget meets the requirements of the proposed amendment before the budget can be adopted. Then the Cityís outside auditing firm must certify the degree of actual compliance after the fiscal year is completed. This is similar to the existing requirement for city controller certification of available funds before they can be disbursed and the requirement for an annual financial audit. The same degree of legal requirement for compliance on these existing matters would also apply to compliance with the proposed amendment. Additionally, we believe that the requirement that surplus revenues be refunded to Houstonians will be sufficient incentive to instigate court action by voters if the City is not complying. See the ninth bullet point under the answer to Question 4.



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