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Texans to vote on amendments

Texans to vote on amendments

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All Texas voters will be able to cast ballots on eight proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution, even if — as in Bryan — they don’t vote on city council or school board races.

The information below contains a descirption of each amendment and the wording on the ballot as provided by the House Research Organization.

Election Day in Nov. 2, with early voting running from Monday through Oct. 29.

Proposition 1 Proposition 1 would amend Texas Constitution Art. 3, sec. 47(d-1) to allow the Legislature by general law to permit the charitable foundation of an organization sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association HJR 143 by Geren (Nelson) or the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association to conduct charitable raffles at rodeo venues.

The ballot proposal reads: “The constitutional amendment 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.”

Proposition 2Proposition 2 would amend Texas Constitution Art. 8, sec. 1-g(b) to authorize counties to issue bonds or notes to finance the development of unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted areas and to pledge increases in property tax revenues for repayment.

The ballot proposal reads: “The constitutional amendment authorizing a county to finance the development or redevelopment of transportation or infrastructure in unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted areas in the county.”

Proposition 3Proposition 3 would add sec. 6-a to Art. 1 of the Texas Constitution to prohibit the state or a political subdivision of the state from enacting, adopting, or issuing a statute, order, proclamation, decision, or rule that prohibited or limited religious services, including services conducted in churches, congregations, and places of worship, in the state by a religious organization established to support and serve the propagation of a sincerely held religious belief.

The ballot proposal reads: “The constitutional amendment to prohibit this state or a political subdivision of this state from prohibiting or limiting religious services of religious organizations.”

Proposition 4Proposition 4 would amend Texas Constitution Art. 5, sec. 2(b) and sec. 7 to change the eligibility requirements to serve on the Texas Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, and courts of appeals and on state district courts.

Under the revisions, to be eligible to serve as the chief justice or a justice on the Texas Supreme Court or a court of appeals or as a presiding judge or judge on the Court of Criminal Appeals, a person would have to be

a resident of Texas at the time of the election. A candidate also would have to have been a lawyer licensed in Texas for at least 10 years or be 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. The proposition also would require that during the 10 years the person was licensed and practicing, the person’s license to practice law could not have been revoked, suspended, or subject to a probated suspension.

Proposition 4 would increase from four to eight the number of years preceding a district judge’s election that the judge would have to have been a practicing lawyer, a judge of a Texas court, or both combined. The proposition would require that during that time, the judge’s license to practice law not have been revoked, suspended, or subject to a probated suspension.

The ballot proposal reads: “The constitutional amendment 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.”

Proposition 5Proposition 5 would amend Texas Constitution Art. 5, sec. 1-a to allow the State Commission on Judicial Conduct to accept complaints or reports, conduct investigations, and take any other authorized action with respect to a candidate for state judicial office in the same manner the commission may take those actions with respect to a person holding such office.

The ballot proposal reads: “The constitutional amendment providing additional powers to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct with respect to candidates for judicial office.”

Proposition 6Proposition 6 would add sec. 35 to Art. 1 of the Texas Constitution to grant residents of certain long-term care facilities the right to designate an essential caregiver with whom the facility could not prohibit in-person visitation. The proposition would apply to a resident in a nursing facility, assisted living facility, intermediate care facility for individuals with an intellectual disability, residence providing home and community-based services, or state supported living center.

The Legislature by general law could provide guidelines for a facility to follow in establishing essential caregiver visitation policies and procedures.

The ballot proposal reads: “The constitutional amendment establishing a right for residents of certain facilities to designate an essential caregiver for in-person visitation.”

Proposition 7Proposition 7 would amend Texas Constitution Art. 8, sec. 1-b to provide that the surviving spouse of an individual who received a limitation on the school district property taxes on the individual’s residence homestead on the basis of disability continued to receive it while the property remained the spouse’s residence homestead if the spouse was at least 55 years old. The proposition would validate the changes to law made by HB 1313, as enacted by the 86th Legislature, HJR 125 by Ellzey (Birdwell) and an action taken by a tax official in reliance on that bill.

A collector would have to calculate the taxes that should have been imposed for the 2020 and 2021 tax years according to that bill, and if the taxes collected exceeded those that should have been imposed, the collector would have to refund the difference to the surviving spouse. This provision would expire Jan. 1, 2023.

The ballot proposal reads: “The constitutional amendment to allow 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.”

Proposition 8Proposition 8 would amend Texas Constitution Art. 8, sec. 1-b(m) to expand eligibility for the residence homestead tax exemption currently provided to the surviving spouse of a member of the U.S. armed services who was killed in action. With the amendment, the surviving spouse would be entitled to the exemption if the service member was killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.

The ballot proposal reads: “The 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 member of the armed services of the United States who is killed or fatally injured in the in the line of duty.”

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