Texans Can Change the Texas Constitution by Voting, Starting October 23Opinion
In just a few days, you will have the chance to change the Texas Constitution. The 85th Texas Legislature sent seven propositions to the voters to be approved or rejected. I voted for each of the proposed amendments, but the ultimate decision lies with you! With just days to go until early voting, I want to provide you some information and resources about what you will be voting on.
Here are the seven constitutional amendments up for consideration:
- Proposition 1 - Property Tax Exemption for Partially Disabled Veteran. Prop. 1 would allow the Legislature to provide a partially disabled veteran a partial property tax exemption on a homestead that was donated at a reduced cost to the veteran so long as it was donated for less than its market value.
- Proposition 2 - Home Equity Loan Amendment. Prop. 2 would lower the cap on fees that are charged when making a home equity loan, allow the refinancing of home equity loans into non-home equity loans, and amend the list of the types of approved lenders. The proposed amendment would lower the cap on fees charged to borrowers from 3 percent to 2 percent of the principal of the loan.
- Proposition 3 - Appointed Officer Term Expiration. Currently, the Texas Constitution requires all appointees within the state to continue to perform the duties of their office until a successor is sworn in. Prop. 3 would create an exception to that requirement for appointees who did not receive a salary, allowing the appointee to end their duties on the last day of the legislature's regular session.
- Proposition 4 - Courts must Provide Notice to the Texas Attorney General. Prop. 4 would authorize the Legislature to require courts to notify the attorney general when a party to a lawsuit filed a case challenging the constitutionality of a state statute. The proposition also would authorize the Legislature to create a 45-day grace period for the state to intervene before the court enters a final judgment.
- Proposition 5- Changes Definition of Professional Sports Team in Charitable Raffles. Current law allows for charitable raffles for Texas major league sports organizations, such as the MLB, NFL, and NBA. Prop. 5 clarifies which professional sports team's charitable foundations may conduct charitable raffles, such as WNBA, Minor League Baseball, NASCAR, and INDYcar.
- Prop. 6 - Property Tax Exemption for Surviving Spouses of First Responders Killed in Line of Duty. Proposition 6 would allow the Legislature to give a partial or total homestead exemption to the surviving spouse of a first responder who was killed or fatally injured in the line of duty, provided that the spouse had not remarried since the first responder's death.
- Proposition 7 - Financial Institutions to Offer Prizes to Promote Savings. Prop. 7 would allow the Legislature to permit credit unions and other financial institutions to conduct promotional activities to encourage savings. Prizes could be awarded to the institution's depositors selected by lot.
Early voting begins October 23rd, so please cast your ballot. For more information on these constitutional amendments, please click here.
The Texas Constitution is the foundation of our great state and it is critical that each and every person in our area of Texas gets out and vote.