Early Voting for the November 7, 2017, General and Special Elections began this week. On the ballot are seven proposed State Constitutional Amendments referred by the 85th Legislature. The proposed amendments cover a wide range of topics, including property taxes, raffles, home equity loan provisions, and more.
As always, you Chamber encourages voter engagement as a civic responsibility. A responsive government will ultimately come from interested and informed voters. Feel free to help inform your colleagues and neighbors by forwarding this message for consideration.
Below is the language for the proposed Constitutional amendments and Propositions as seen on your ballot:
Prop. 1 The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of part of the market value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a partially disabled veteran if the residence homestead was donated to the disabled veteran by a charitable organization for less than the market value of the residence homestead and harmonizing certain related provisions of the Texas Constitution.
Prop. 2 The constitutional amendment to establish a lower amount for expenses that can be charged to a borrower and removing certain financing expense limitations for a home equity loan, establishing certain authorized lenders to make a home equity loan, changing certain options for the refinancing of home equity loans, changing the threshold for an advance of a home equity line of credit, and allowing home equity loans on agricultural homesteads.
Prop. 3 The constitutional amendment limiting the service of certain officeholders appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate after the expiration of the person’s term of office.
Prop. 4 The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to require a court to provide notice to the attorney general of a challenge to the constitutionality of a state statute and authorizing the legislature to prescribe a waiting period before the court may enter a judgment holding the statute unconstitutional.
Prop. 5 The constitutional amendment on professional sports team charitable foundations conducting charitable raffles.
Prop. 6 The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a first responder who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.
Prop. 7 The constitutional amendment relating to legislative authority to permit credit unions and other financial institutions to award prizes by lot to promote savings.
The Constitution is changed through amendments, which are proposed by the Texas Legislature and accepted or rejected by the voters. The Texas Constitution provides that the legislature, by a two-thirds vote of all members of each house, may propose amendments revising the constitution and that proposed amendments must then be submitted for approval to the qualified voters of the state. A proposed amendment becomes a part of the constitution if a majority of the votes cast in an election on the proposition are cast in its favor. An amendment approved by the voters is effective on the date of the official canvass of returns showing adoption. Since the current Texas Constitution was adopted in 1876, 491 amendments have been passed.
Early voting began October 23 and will run through Friday, November 3. Make sure to hit the polls. For more information on voting requirements click here.