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Lackluster November constitutional amendment election shapes up

Stations looking for an economic boon in the upcoming Texas constitutional amendment election will come up empty-handed.

None of the current issues slated for the ballot are expected to generate much in the way of “for or “against” advertising, but there could be some activity if another constitutional amendment is approved by the Texas Legislature in the special session slated to begin July 18.

Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott wants lawmakers to reform spiraling property taxes by either passing a reform measure like SB 2 from the regular session or by amending the Constitution to provide that neither state nor local spending can exceed the growth in population and inflation. 

If such a constitutional amendment measure passes there could some pro and con advertising related to it, but nothing substantial.

Texas voters will go to the polls Nov. 7 to approve any changes to the Texas Constitution.

The Secretary of State’s office will wait until mid-August before drawing the position of each proposed amendment’s order on the ballot.  

At that time the measures will be referred to by their proposition number.
For now, these measures are known by their resolution numbers.
The proposed constitutional amendments are:

Disabled Veterans/Property Taxes
HJR 21 by Rep. Cecil Bell, R-Magnolia

“Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of part of the market value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a partially disabled veteran if the residence homestead was donated to the disabled veteran by a charitable organization for less than the market value of the residence homestead and harmonizing certain related provisions of the Texas Constitution.

If passed it would allow potential property tax exemptions for certain disabled veterans or their surviving spouses.

Financial Institutions/Promotional Raffles
HJR 37 by Rep. Eric Johnson, Dallas

“Proposing a constitutional amendment relating to legislative authority to permit credit unions and other financial institutions to award prizes by lot to promote savings.”

If passed, banks, credit unions and savings and loan institutions could conduct promotional raffles.

Sports Team Charitable Raffles
HJR 100 by Rep. John Kuempel, R-Seguin

“Proposing a constitutional amendment on professional sports team charitable foundations conducting charitable raffles.”

Voters are being sked to allow more sports team charitable foundations to hold raffles benefitting such groups.

Deceased First Responders/Property Taxes
SJR 1 by Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels

“Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a first responder who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.”

If passed it would allow property tax exemptions to surviving spouses of first responders killed in the line of duty.

Constitutional Challenges to State Laws
SJR 6 by Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo

“Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to require a court to provide notice to the attorney general of a challenge to the constitutionality of a state statute and authorizing the legislature to prescribe a waiting period before the court may enter a judgment holding the statute unconstitutional.”

This measure, if approved, would require Texas courts to notify the attorney general of any constitutional challenges to state laws.

State Appointees’ Term
SJR 34 by Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Waco

“Proposing a constitutional amendment limiting the service of certain officeholders after the expiration of the person's term of office.”

Would limit the term of unsalaried state appointees whose terms have ended but who have not yet been replaced. 

Home Equity Borrowing
SJR 60 by Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-Dallas

“Proposing a constitutional amendment establishing a lower amount for expenses that can be charged to a borrower and removing certain financing expense limitations for a home equity loan, establishing certain authorized lenders to make a home equity loan, changing certain options for the refinancing of home equity loans, changing the threshold for an advance of a home equity line of credit, and allowing home equity loans on agricultural homesteads.”

If passed, this measure would ease restrictions on borrowing against home equity.

Questions?  Contact TAB's Michael Schneider or call (512) 322-9944.

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