Texas system eyes November for voter approval of $2.9B in projects

Bellaire, Texas-based Harris Health System is now focused on a November ballot measure to secure public approval for a $2.9 billion capital plan that includes a $1.6 billion hospital, according to Community Impact.

Harris Health has requested a $2.5 billion bond approval from local authorities. But voters would get the final say.

 "If the court and voters approve, we will have the ability to take out a mortgage, like people do for houses, and actually move faster regarding our ability to serve the county and maybe even get a bit ahead of the continuing population growth," Harris Health COO Louis Smith said.

More than half of the funds would go toward a new hospital on the current Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital campus in Houston, with $400 million to renovate the existing hospital. Almost $1 billion will be dedicated to renovations at the system's Ben Taub hospital, also in Houston, and existing clinics, according to the report.

One in 4 Harris County residents are uninsured, and that number is expected to exceed 1.5 million by 2050, the report said. Harris County is the largest county in Texas and one of the largest in the United States.

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