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What's in the $1.25 billion Dallas bond and will voters approve it?

What's in the $1.25 billion Dallas bond and will voters approve it?
What's in the $1.25 billion Dallas bond and will voters approve it? 21:00

Dallas residents will have the chance to vote for or against a $1.25 billion bond project that includes money for street repairs, parks, a police training facility and more. The U.S. Senate race between Republican incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz and his Democratic challenger Colin Allred is narrowing, according to a recent poll. And Jack sits down with both Brent Hagenbuch and Jace Yarbrough — the two candidates competing in the Republican primary runoff for the open Texas Senate seat in District 30. They discuss their priorities and why they believe they're the best candidate for the job.

Jack Fink covers these stories and more in the latest edition of Eye on Politics (original air date: April 21).

Dallas residents to vote on $1.25 billion bond

Early voting begins Monday in the May municipal elections—and in Dallas, residents will vote on a $1.25 billion bond. 

The bond is made of 10 ballot propositions and there is a long list of city leaders, both past and present, who support all 10. Among those supporters: Mayor Eric Johnson, a wide variety of organizations and Dallas Council Member Paula Blackmon

"We need to invest in our city, plain and simple," Blackmon said. 

Most of the money will go toward Proposition A: streets and transportation for a total of $521 million. That money would be used to fix potholes, repave and repair streets and alleys and make roads safer. 

"What we're seeing is people saying, you know what, I don't want to be in my car all the time," Blackmon said. "I want a bike trail. I want a sidewalk, and so we need to meet those needs as well and that's expensive."

Proposition B is for expanding and upgrading parks and recreation, which has the second-most funding at more than $345 million.

Included in that: $30 million for improvements to the Dallas Zoo, $4 million to make upgrades to the Dallas Arboretum, $6.5 million for the expansion of Klyde Warren Park and $20 million to dredge White Rock Lake, a project that's also received federal funding.

Dallas Council Member Cara Mendelsohn called Props A and B "no brainers."

"I've got parents taking kids to the playgrounds where the playground is the same one they played on when they grew up," she said. "Those need to be switched out for safety."

Proposition C would provide $52 million for infrastructure and storm drainage to protect neighborhoods against flooding. 

Mendelsohn said while the issue is important, she opposes Prop C because she believes there are better ways to fund flood control than through a Dallas city bond.

"We serve other cities with water and what could happen is, instead of a general obligation bond, we could issue revenue bonds, which means they're pledged against the money we pay on our bill every month," she said. 

But Blackmon said Prop C is a small amount to invest in people's quality of life.

"We have real issues with flooding, especially in East Dallas where we have a lot of creeks," Blackmon said.

Proposition D would upgrade the city's public libraries for more than $43 million. 

More than $75 million would go to Proposition E — repairing city-owned arts facilities and attracting visitors to the Arts District.

Prop F would allocate $90 million for public safety facilities. This would include $50 million for the newly proposed Dallas Police Department's new training facility — the largest single ticket item in this year's bond. The new facility will be built at UNT's new campus in South Dallas. 

Supporters, including former Dallas Council Member Jennifer Staubach Gates, believe a new police training facility is needed because the existing one was outdated long ago. 

"Anybody who's toured it I think is just appalled," she said. "If you want a great police department, it starts with the training, and this is going to help us retain and recruit, which we desperately need."

But not everyone supports this project.

"We believe that will result in more over-spending and repression in our communities and we thing that money could be utilized elsewhere," said Tamera Hutcherson, an organizer with the group, Stop Cop City Dallas. "Why not invest money in updating that facility instead of constructing a new facility entirely?"

Mendelsohn, who chairs the Public Safety Committee, also supports the project. 

"Probably the same group that wanted us to defund police way back when," Mendelsohn said. "What I'm going to say is that we need to have a robust police force. Right now we are down hundreds of police officers, and I have not met anybody hat doesn't want more police in their neighborhood and doesn't want a highly trained office."

To the allegation that her group is anti-police, Hutcherson said: "It's a good question. I encourage those people to engage in conversation with us."

The new facility will be built at UNT's new campus in South Dallas and would cost a total of $140 million. If voters approve, the city will have a total of $80 million committed to the project. Staubach Gates said she has been speaking with a number of private foundations about making contributions of their own to this public-private partnership.

Proposition G is for economic development and attracting jobs and workforce programs for $72 million.

More than $26 million would go toward Prop H: expanding options for affordable housing.

Mendelsohn said she opposes this proposition as well because there are other programs that can pay for housing initiatives and that the city has already used them effectively. 

"I don't think it's wise for us to take on debt to create affordable housing," she said.

Prop I would spend $19 million for helping the homeless, which includes funding for renovating and increasing capacity at the Bridge Shelter.

Prop J would upgrade the city's IT infrastructure after various problems with technology and security in the city government, for 45 million.

Watch Jack's full Dallas bond explainer by watching this week's episode of Eye on Politics at the top of this page.

New Poll

A new poll by the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation shows Republican incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz leading Democratic challenger Colin Allred by five percentage points, 46% to 41%. Among Hispanic voters, Allred leads Cruz 44% to 39%.

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In the presidential race, the same poll shows presumed Republican nominee and former President Donald Trump has opened a 12 percentage point lead over Democratic President Joe Biden, 46% to 34%, among likely voters. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has 9% while two other candidates each has 3% and 8% are undecided.

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Trump also leads Biden among Hispanic voters, 41% to 37%.

CBS News Texas

GOP Primary Battle: Texas Senate District 30

In North Texas, there's a GOP primary runoff battle brewing for an open State Senate seat in District 30, which includes parts of Collin, Denton, Grayson, Cooke and other counties.

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Current State Sen. Drew Springer, a Republican, announced last year he's not running again. After a four-candidate primary March 5, Jace Yarbrough and Brent Hagenbuch, a former Denton County GOP Chair, emerged to compete in the May 28 runoff. This is a Republican majority district and will likely stay that way. 

One issue that's come up in this race — whether Hagenbuch lived in the district for one year before the November election, as required by the Texas Constitution. A civil lawsuit will lead to a trial. 

Jack sat down with both candidates and asked about the issue, plus what the candidates' priorities are. 

Watch Jack's one-on-one with Yarbrough below:

Jace Yarbrough says his opponent "fabricated their residency" in the district 19:32

Watch Jack's one-on-one with Hagenbuch below: 

Brent Hagenbuch discusses his various endorsements from Republican party leaders 13:14

The winner will face either Democrat Michael Braxton or Dale Frey in the general election November 5.   

Every week, CBS News Texas political reporter Jack Fink breaks down some of the biggest political stories grabbing headlines in North Texas and beyond. Watch the latest episode of Eye on Politics in the video player above and watch new episodes every Sunday at 7:30 a.m. on air and online. 

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