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Voting on Texas Constitutional Amendments

Election day is November 5 to vote on amending the Texas Constitution.

Below is the wording and very brief explanation of each of the amendments.  For more detailed explanation of each proposition as well as to read arguments both the supporting and opposing, please see the following resources:

Proposition 1

How it will read on the ballot: “The constitutional amendment permitting a person to hold more than one office as a municipal judge at the same time.”

What it means: Proposition 1 would amend Art. 3 to allow a person to hold office as municipal judge in more than one municipality at the same time, regardless of whether the person was elected or appointed to each office.

Proposition 2

How it will read on the ballot: “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.

What it means: Proposition 2 would add sec. 49-d-14 to Art. 3 to allow the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) to issue additional general obligation bonds for the Economically Distressed Areas Program account.

Proposition 3

How it will read on the ballot: “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.”

What it means: Proposition 3 would amend Art. 8, sec. 2 to allow the Legislature to create temporary property tax exemptions for people with property damaged in governor-declared disaster areas. The Legislature would be able to pass laws determining the eligibility requirements for exemptions, as well as the duration and amount of any write-offs.

Proposition 4

How it will read on the ballot: “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.”

What it means: Proposition 4 would add sec. 24-a to Art. 8 to prohibit the Legislature from imposing a net income tax on individuals, including on individuals’ shares of partnership or unincorporated association income unless it had support from two-thirds of the House and Senate as well as a majority of Texas voters.  The state currently requires any proposal to have only a majority vote in the House and Senate before it comes to voters.

Proposition 5

How it will read on the ballot: “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.”

What it means: Proposition 5 would add sec. 7-d to Art. 8 and would automatically appropriate (or “earmark”) all revenue from the sporting goods sales tax toward the state parks and wildlife department and historic commission.  The tax was created for this purpose in 1993, but the Legislature has not appropriated all available tax revenue to parks and wildlife and the historic commission.

Proposition 6

How it will read on the ballot: “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.”

What it means: Proposition 6 would amend Texas Constitution Art.3, sec. 67(c) to increase the maximum amount of bonds it can issue on behalf of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas from $3 billion to $6 billion.

Proposition 7

How it will read on the ballot: “The constitutional amendment allowing increased distributions to the available school fund.”

What it means: Proposition 7 would amend Art. 7, sec. 5(g) to allow the General Land Office, the State Board of Education, and other entities to double the amount of revenue they can provide to the Available School Fund each year – up to $600 million per entity per year. The Available School Fund provides classroom materials and funding for Texas schools.

Proposition 8

How it will read on the ballot: “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.”

What it means: Proposition 8 would add sec. 49-d-14 to Art. 3 to create the Flood Infrastructure Fund as a special fund in the state treasury outside the general revenue fund.  The fund could be used by the Texas Water Development Board without further appropriation.

Proposition 9

How it will read on the ballot: “The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation precious metal held in a precious metal depository located in this state.”

What it means: Proposition 9 would amend Art. 8 to authorize the legislature to create a property tax exemption for precious metals held in state depositories.  The Legislature could define “precious metal” and “precious metal depository” for purposes of the exemption.

Proposition 10

How it will read on the ballot: “The constitutional amendment to allow the transfer of a law enforcement animal to a qualified caretaker in certain circumstances.”

What it means: Proposition 10 would add sec. 521 to Art. 3 to allow the Legislature to authorize transfer of retired law enforcement animals without a fee.

Three special elections to fill vacated Texas House seats will also be on the November ballot.  Districts 100 and 148 are in reliably Democratic districts.  Democrats are seeking to flip House District 28.  Click to see iVoterGuide’s evaluation of the candidates in House District 28.

God bless you, and thank you for your diligence and dedication.


Debbie Wuthnow
President, iVoterGuide