Originally published on August 14, 2019.
The Texas Legislative Session is a time when Senators and Representatives, chosen by the people, come together and pass legislation on behalf of the people. Typically, legislation requires simple majority votes in both Chambers and approval from the Governor to become state law. Amending the Constitution is different.
The legislation starts similarly: denoted “joint resolution” rather than “bill,” the legislation is referred to the relevant Committee and begins the process. The biggest difference is Constitutional Amendments require two-thirds approval from both Chambers and skips the Governor, heading straight to the people of Texas. This November, Texans will have the opportunity to approve ten Constitutional Amendments.
In its history, Texas has added nearly 500 amendments to the constitution, making it one of the longest state constitutions in the U.S. The Amendment ballot order was recently announced, giving the joint resolutions official proposition numbers.
Early voting begins in October and Election Day is November 5, 2019. The last day to register to vote in the Constitutional Amendment election is October 7, 2019. Although that’s over a month away, it never hurts to be early. Voter registration is simple: use the following link to learn if you are registered, what’s on your local ballot, download a registration application, and more: https://www.votetexas.gov/.
Below are the Amendments Texans will have the opportunity to vote on:
Proposition 1 (HJR 72): “The constitutional amendment permitting a person to hold more than one office as a municipal judge at the same time.”
Proposition 2 (SJR 79): “The constitutional amendment providing for the issuance of additional general obligation bonds by the Texas Water Development Board in an amount not to exceed $200 million to provide financial assistance for the development of certain projects in economically distressed areas.”
Proposition 3 (HJR 34): “The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for a temporary exemption from ad valorem taxation of a portion of the appraised value of certain property damaged by a disaster.”
Proposition 4 (HJR 38): “The constitutional amendment prohibiting the imposition of an individual income tax, including a tax on an individual’s share of partnership and unincorporated association income.”
Proposition 5 (SJR 24): “The constitutional amendment dedicating the revenue received from the existing state sales and use taxes that are imposed on sporting goods to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission to protect Texas’ natural areas, water quality, and history by acquiring, managing, and improving state and local parks and historic sites while not increasing the rate of the state sales and use taxes.”
Proposition 6 (HJR 12): “The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to increase by $3 billion the maximum bond amount authorized for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.”
Proposition 7 (HJR 151): “The constitutional amendment allowing increased distributions to the available school fund.”
Proposition 8 (HJR 4): “The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the flood infrastructure fund to assist in the financing of drainage, flood mitigation, and flood control projects.”
Proposition 9 (HJR 95): “The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation precious metal held in a precious metal depository located in this state.”
Proposition 10 (SJR 32): “The constitutional amendment to allow the transfer of a law enforcement animal to a qualified caretaker in certain circumstances.”
Thanks for reading. If you have any questions about voter registration, the Constitutional Amendments, or more, please contact our office or the Texas Secretary of State.