Voting Begins on Ten State Constitutional Amendments

The Texas Constitution of 1876 is an unwieldy, often anachronistic document that has been amended nearly 500 times. The legislature this year put ten more amendments on the ballot for voters’ consideration in the November 8 general election, for which early voting begins today and runs through November 4.The Hotline has previously reported on the problematic Proposition 6, authorizing increased withdrawals from the state trust fund for the public schools, the Permanent School Fund.  (See https://www.texasaft.org/?p=1349 for our explanation of how the ballot language for Proposition 6 fails to tell the whole story behind this amendment.)

For further guidance on the ten ballot propositions, we commend to your attention the recommendations (see below) of the Texas AFL-CIO executive board, on which Texas AFT and its local affiliates have substantial representation. (For the Texas AFL-CIO to take a position for or against an amendment requires a two-thirds vote of the executive board.)

Here are those recommendations:

Proposition 1 (Property Exemptions for Surviving Spouses of Disabled Veterans) – Yes

Proposition 2 (Water Development Fund Bonds) – Yes

Proposition 3 (Bonds to Finance Educational Loans) – Yes

Proposition 4 (County Bonds for “Unproductive, Underdeveloped or Blighted” Areas) – No recommendation

Proposition 5 (Interlocal Contracts Between Cities and Counties) – Yes

Proposition 6 (Increases Amount of Principal Withdrawn From Permanent School Fund) – No

 

Proposition 7 (Authorizes El Paso County to Create Conservation and Reclamation Districts) – No recommendation

Proposition 8 (Taxation of Open Space Land Devoted to Water Stewardship) – No recommendation

Proposition 9 (Authorizes Governor to Pardon Persons Who Complete Deferred Adjudication) – Yes

 

Proposition 10 (Extends Length of Unexpired Term Triggering Automatic Resignation When Certain Officials Announce for Other Offices) – Yes

If you would like to take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of all ten constitutional amendments before you vote, we encourage you to check out the report of the Texas House Research Organization at:  http://www.hro.house.state.tx.us/pdf/focus/amend82.pdf.