By Freddy Jimenez
Special to the PRESS
Ten amendments are being proposed to the Texas Constitution this election season, Election Day being slated for Tuesday, November 5.
Voting polls for Nov. 5 by precinct are provided below. Voters can find their precinct on their voter ID cards or on the Cameron County Elections website.
Earlier this year, the Texas legislature passed a number of bills amending the constitution but which will require a majority of citizens’ support via vote in a statewide referendum. On the ballot are ten (10) propositions, all listed below.
How it reads: “The constitutional amendment permitting a person to hold more than one office as a municipal judge at the same time.”
What it means: This amendment would allow elected municipal judges to serve as a municipal judge in more than one municipality at the same time. Unlike appointed municipal judges, elected municipal judges may not concurrently hold another municipal judge office.
How it reads: “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: This would authorize the Texas Water Development Board to issue additional general obligation bonds, in an amount that does not exceed $200 million, for the economically distressed areas program. These bonds can only be used to provide financing for the development of water supply and sewer service projects in those economically distressed areas as defined by law.
How it reads: “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: This proposition would allow the legislature to prescribe the method of determining the amount of the tax exemption and the duration of the exemption and also would allow the legislature to create any additional eligibility requirements for the tax exemption.
How it reads: “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: This proposes an amendment prohibiting the state from imposing or collecting an individual income tax, including an individual’s share of partnership and unincorporated association income.
How it reads: “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: This would automatically appropriate the net revenue received from the portion of the state’s tax revenue received on sales of sporting goods to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission.
How it reads: “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: This would authorize the legislature to increase the maximum bond amount for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas from $3 billion to $6 billion to be issued by the Texas Public Finance Authority.
How it reads: “The constitutional amendment allowing increased distributions to the available school fund.”
What it means: This would allow increased distributions from $300 million per year to $600 million per year to the available school fund and also allowing the State Board of Education, the General Land Office, and other entities that manage revenue from land or other properties held in the permanent school fund to distribute certain revenue to the available school fund.
How it reads: “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: This would allow the creation of the flood infrastructure fund as a special fund in the state treasury, using money appropriated from the economic stabilization fund. The fund would provide additional resources to implement plans to mitigate flood damage and would authorize the Texas Water Development Board to use money in the flood infrastructure fund for drainage, flood mitigation, or flood control projects.
How it reads: “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: This would authorize the legislature to create a property tax exemption for precious metal held in a precious metal depository located in the state.
How it reads: “The constitutional amendment to allow the transfer of a law enforcement animal to a qualified caretaker in certain circumstances.”
What it means: This would authorize the legislature to allow a state agency or political subdivision to transfer a law enforcement animal to the animal’s handler or another qualified caretaker in certain circumstances. The Texas Constitution currently prevents the transfer of certain public property, such as law enforcement animals, to a private person or organization at no cost. This would change that, transferring the animal upon its retirement or at another time if the transfers is determined to be in the animal’s best interest.