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Texas Constitutional Amendment Election Set for Nov. 2

- Eight Measures Up for Vote

Texans will cast votes on eight ballot measures in the Nov. 2 Texas constitutional amendment election. None of the proposed constitutional amendments is deemed controversial by veteran Capitol watchers. As such, stations likely will not see much in the way of advertising dollars in favor or against any of the measures this fall. 

In order to make the ballot, measures must receive two-thirds approval by the Texas House of Representatives and the Texas Senate. The Governor’s approval is not required under the state constitution.

Proposition 1 – (HJR 143 by Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Ft. Worth)

Authorizing the professional sports team charitable foundations of organizations sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or the Women's Professional Rodeo Association to conduct charitable raffles at rodeo venues. 

This proposition would allow the charitable foundation of an organization sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association to conduct charitable raffles at rodeo events. 

In 2015, the Legislature and Texas voters authorized charitable foundations of professional sports teams to conduct charitable raffles, but only at games hosted at the home venue of the professional sports team associated with the charitable foundation.

Proposition 2 – (HJR 99 by Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg)

Authorizing a county to finance the development or redevelopment of transportation or infrastructure in unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted areas in the county.

Current law allows incorporated cities or towns to issue bonds or notes to finance development of an unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted area and to pledge increases in property tax revenue in the area to repay the bonds. 

Proposition 2 adds counties to the list of authorized governmental bodies allowed to do so.

Proposition 3 – (SJR 27 by Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills)
Prohibiting this state or a political subdivision of this state from prohibiting or limiting religious services of religious organizations.

This proposition was filed in response to COVID-19 restrictions put in place by state and local governments to curb the pandemic. 

Some felt such restrictions violated the First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion. Proposition 3 would prohibit enacting, adopting, or issuing a statute, order, proclamation, decision, or rule that prohibits or limits religious services, including those conducted in Texas churches, congregations, and places of worship.

Proposition 4 – (SJR 47 by Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston)

Changing the eligibility requirements for a justice of the supreme court, a judge of the court of criminal appeals, a justice of a court of appeals, and a district judge.

This measure changes the basic requirements for several classes of Texas judges. 

Requirements to serve on the Texas Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, or Court of Criminal Appeals would include the following: licensed to practice law in Texas; a citizen of the United States; a resident of Texas at the time of the election; at least 35 years of age; a practicing lawyer licensed in Texas for at least 10 years or a practicing lawyer licensed in Texas and a judge of a state court or county court established by the Legislature by statute for a combined total of at least 10 years.

In addition, the individual could not have had their license to practice law revoked, suspended, or subject to a probated suspension.

Proposition 4 would also require district judges to have eight years’ experience as a practicing lawyer, a judge of a Texas court, or both combined.

Proposition 5 – (HJR 165 by Rep. Jacey Jetton, R-Sugar Land)

Providing additional powers to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct with respect to candidates for judicial office.

Under current law, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct can investigate complaints regarding state judicial officeholders.

The commission, whose members are appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Texas Senate, has the power to issue private or public admonitions, warnings, reprimands, or require additional training of judicial officeholders. 

Proposition 5 would allow the commission to investigate complaints and act regarding candidates for state judicial office.

Proposition 6 – (SJR 19 by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham)

Establishing a right for residents of certain facilities to designate an essential caregiver for in-person visitation.

Proposition 6 is another measure filed in response to COVID-19 restrictions.

During the height of the pandemic shutdown, some residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and state supported living centers were isolated from the public for months. In some cases, patients died alone. 

Proposition 6 would allow residents to designate an essential caregiver with whom the facility could not prohibit in-person visitation.

Proposition 7 - (HJR 125 by former Rep. Jake Ellzey, R-Waxahachie, now U.S. Representative for CD 6)

Allowing the surviving spouse of a person who is disabled to receive a limitation on the school district ad valorem taxes on the spouse's residence homestead if the spouse is 55 years of age or older at the time of the person's death.

Current law allows a person who is disabled or who is at least 65 years of age to exempt up to $10,000 of the market value of their residence homestead from school property taxes. 

Proposition 7 would allow the surviving spouse of a disabled individual who received the limitation to continue to receive it while the property remained the spouse's residence homestead if the spouse is at least 55 years old.

Proposition 8 – (SJR 35 by. Sen. Donna Campbell, R-San Antonio)

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 member of the armed services of the United States who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.

Current law allows the surviving spouse of a U.S. military member killed in action to receive a residence homestead tax exemption. 

Proposition 8 would expand the benefit to the surviving spouse of a member of the U.S. armed services killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.

Killed in action is a classification used to describe the deaths of combatants at the hands of hostile forces.

Killed or fatally injured involves a death while in active service, but not at the hands of an enemy.

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

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