Politics

Gov. Abbott issues proclamation certifying 7 out of 8 constitutional amendments

AUSTIN, Texas — On. Nov. 29, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation certifying seven out of eight amendments passed earlier this fall.

On Election Day, Nov. 2, Texas voters saw eight state propositions on their ballots. Each was a proposed amendment to the Texas Constitution and, as usual, voters had the opportunity to vote “for” or “against” each of them. All eight passed. 

A spokesperson for Abbott’s office said Proposition 2 was not included in the proclamation due to an ongoing lawsuit over the item’s ballot language.

All of the potential amendments originated in the Texas Legislature because the state constitution cannot be amended by citizen-led ballot initiatives or petitions. Because of this, Texans vote on amendments in the fall of odd-numbered years, following the spring legislative session.

Below, you can find breakdowns of what each proposition on your ballot would do if it is passed, some of the arguments for and against each and the preliminary election results.

Proposition 1 (HJR 143)

This amendment would add professional rodeo charitable foundations that are sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association or the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association to the list of similar foundations for other professional sports associations that are allowed to hold raffles. If approved, the raffles may be held at rodeos in Texas.

According to the League of Women Voters of Texas (LWV), a nonpartisan organization, arguments for passing this prop are that many other professional sports charitable foundations – including those for the NFL, NBA and MLB – are already allowed to hold raffles. Meanwhile, those against the amendment say that raffles are another form of gambling and that, if authorized, this form of gambling could eventually be extended beyond professional sports to other types of organizations.

Prop 1 passed with 84% of voters casting their ballots for it and 16% against it.

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Proposition 2 (HJR 99)

Currently, the Texas Constitution allowed the Legislature to authorize cities to issue bonds or notes to pay for the development or redevelopment of transportation or infrastructure in “unproductive, underdeveloped or blighted areas.” This amendment would add counties to the political entities that can issue bonds or notes for that purpose and to pledge increases in property tax revenues to repay those bonds or notes.

However, if a county issues bonds for transportation improvements, the county may not allocate more than 65% of the property tax increases annually to repay the bonds nor use the bond proceeds to finance toll road construction, operation, maintenance or right-of-way acquisition.

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According to LWV, those for this amendment argue that it simply allows counties the same authorization cities and towns already have; that development or redevelopment of transportation infrastructure can increase property values; and that with the state’s growth, such development is needed. 

Those against the amendment say it could expand debt, which might raise local property taxes; that the state’s local debt ratio per person is too high and issuing these bonds “ties up future funds for debt reservice payments;” and that transportation and infrastructure projects could use money that might go to other government services and projects.

Prop 2 passed with 63% of voters casting their ballots for it and 37% against it.

Written by Britny Eubank

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