At 2:15pm today, the Libre Initiative submitted to the County Clerk the signatures of about 35,000 citizens who oppose University Medical Center’s plan to issue $346 million in certificates of obligation to fund their proposed hospital expansion without voter authorization.
State law requires the signatures of 25,164 (5%) of the County’s voters to stop a CO. If the County Clerk validates the signatures, Libre will have acquired about 10,000 more than they needed.
The County Commissioners Court was set to vote on the CO issuance this coming Monday, under agenda item 8, but there can be no vote until after the County Clerk has counted the valid signatures; and if there are 25,164 of them, the CO is dead, unless UMC or the County mount a legal challenge.
Contrary to the misinformation being spread by Congresswoman Veronica Escobar and her allies, the petition does not aim to deprive the hospital of funding but rather to force it to put its funding request to a vote of the people.
This is a victory for all El Pasoans who care about their economic freedom and are sick to death of arbitrary taxation and deficit spending by our local governments.
Although the petition is aimed at UMC, our City should be absolutely terrified by what just happened, given its chronic addiction to issuing massive quantities of debt without voter approval.
Those days are over.