In re Interrogatories case brief summary
193 Colo. 298
193 Colo. 298
1. Under the power of the CO Housing Finance Authority Act ,the authority issued revenue bonds to provide funds for achieving its low-income housing goals. Bill was designed to provide an appropriation for the authority so that it had a reserve fund. With the fund, its bonds were saleable in the national bond market. The senate propounded interrogatories to the ct questioning whether the bill violated sections of the state constitution. The ct. answered the interrogatories in the negative, as the authority requested. The court ruled that the authority, as a political subdivision of the state, had power to incur obligations in its own name. Its obligations thus did not constitute a constitutional debt of the state. Further, the appropriation did not constitute a debt because it was discretionary and nonobligatory. The appropriation also did not constitute a pledge of the state's credit because no debt was created and there was no lending of credit. Additionally, it did not mingle public and private funds and it furthered a valid public purpose.
2. Housing Authority has reserve fund. If needs replenished – go to legislature who may appropriate the funds to pay and the governor may approve
3. Legislature expressed in bill expectation and aspiration to appropriate
a. If don’t – what to do? Cannot sue
4. Q of the case is whether the state is on the hook for this, is this type of debt GO debt? It’s not GO debt b/c there is no legal obligation, the Gov MAY replenish the reserve. Therefore state is not required to pay you if the revenue backing is not sufficient. Not legally enforceable promise.