By Gaige Davila
On November 5, Cameron County voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of the ten proposed Texas constitutional amendments proposed on Election Day. In all, 10,568 votes were collected from 62 precincts. In all, 210,335 people are registered to vote in Cameron County. Only 12 percent of registered voters in Texas voted this past Wednesday, according to a report by the Texas Tribune.
The lone proposition Cameron County voted overwhelmingly against was Proposition 1, which would have allowed a municipal judge to hold more than one elected municipal judge office. In all, 72.11 percent of voters voted against the proposition, with 27.89 percent voting for it.
Cameron County voters approved Proposition 2, authored by Texas state senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. (D-Brownsville), allowing the state Water Development Board to issue general obligation bonds under $200 million for economically distressed areas in the state for water supply or sewage systems. The ‘for’ vote was 72.52 percent, with 28.48 percent of voters against the proposition.
Proposition 3 was approved by Cameron County Voters as well, with 85.55 percent of the vote, 14.45 percent against, allowing the Texas legislature to determine tax exemptions on properties damaged by “disasters.”
The much-discussed Proposition 4, which sought to ban a state income tax, was approved by Cameron County voters by 74.56 percent, with 25.44 percent voting in favor of the tax.
Cameron County voters approved a dedicated revenue line to Texas Parks & Wildlife and the Texas Historical Commission via a 87.70 percent vote, allowing taxes imposed on sporting goods and existing state sales and use taxes to be funneled to the departments. Only 12.30 percent of Cameron County voters voted against Proposition 5.
Cameron County voters also voted to approve $3 billion for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, with 71.82 percent in favor and 28.18 percent opposed. The $3 billion increased the maximum bond amount from $3 billion $6 billion, issued by the Texas Public Finance Authority.
$300 million was approved by Cameron County voters to go towards the Texas General Land Office’s Available School Fund, by 73.16 percent, each year, increasing the fund from $300 million to $600 million. Against Proposition 7 were 26.39 percent of Cameron County voters. The money is used to purchase real estate and fund public education, according to the League of Women Voters of Texas Voting Guide.
The Flood Insurance Fund is now slated for creation after approval of Cameron County voters, by 86.10 percent. This fund, outside of the state’s general fund, would be used to establish and maintain flood control and drainage infrastructure throughout the state, particularly in economically distressed areas, according to the League of Women Voters of Texas Voting Guide.
By a narrow margin (52.04 percent for; 47.96 against), Cameron County voters approved Proposition 9, which would exempt ad valorem (property) taxes of precious metals held in Texas precious metals depositories, only one of which exists, built in 2018. This tax would be issued upon purchase or exchange of precious metals.
With the majority of Cameron County voters approving, law enforcement animals can now be adopted by their former handlers or other qualified caretakers at no charge, with 93.81 percent of voters for and 6.19 percent of voters against. Before the vote, law enforcement animals were considered “surplus property” by the state, meaning the county which the animal worked or resided in could only be auctioned, donated, or “destroyed,” according to the League of Women Voters of Texas Voting Guide.