Central Austin Edition - September 2021

INSIDE INFORMATION

STATEWIDEPROPOSITIONS L O O K I N G A T T E X A S L E G I S L A T I O N O N T H E B A L L O T Voters will nd eight propositions to amend the state constitution on the Nov. 2 ballot. Community Impact Newspaper spoke with Brandon Rottinghaus, the University of Houston’s political science chair, to break down each proposition. COMPILED BY JISHNU NAIR & DARCY SPRAGUE

SOURCES: BRANDON ROTTINGHAUS, UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTONCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

P R O P O S I T I O N 1

P R O P O S I T I O N 3 RELIGIOUS SERVICES SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION 27 FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE ON MAY 19 What is it asking? This proposition will decide if state or local governments can limit religious services. Rottinghaus said this measure likely stems from COVID-19 mitigation eorts in 2020, when in-person religious services were limited in parts of Texas, such as Harris and Fort Bend counties.

P R O P O S I T I O N 5 JUDICIAL CONDUCT LIMITATION

P R O P O S I T I O N 7

RODEO RAFFLES

HOMESTEAD TAX LIMITATION FOR SURVIVING SPOUSES OF PEOPLEWITH DISABILITIES

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 143

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 165

FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE ON MAY 25

PASSED SENATE ON MAY 22

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 125

What is it asking? This proposition allows voters to decide whether charities for teams sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or Women’s Professional Rodeo Association can hold charitable raes. According to Rottinghaus, these raes need to be approved through a constitutional amendment to avoid falling afoul of Texas’ gambling laws.

FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE ON MAY 18

P R O P O S I T I O N 6 ESSENTIAL CAREGIVERS SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION 19 FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE ON JUNE 1 What is it asking? Proposition 6 asks voters to decide whether residents of facilities such as nursing homes have the right to determine an essential caregiver who can visit without restrictions. Rottinghaus said this proposition also stemmed from COVID-19 mitigation measures aecting some care facilities. What is it asking? Voters can decide whether the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct, which is responsible for disciplining sitting judges, can extend its powers to candidates for the oce of a judge in Texas, allowing the commission to conduct investigations, accept complaints and disqualify candidates not in oce.

What is it asking? This will determine whether surviving spouses of disabled people can receive limitations on the amount of property taxes they pay on their homesteads, provided they were age 55 or older when their partner died.

P R O P O S I T I O N 4 JUDICIAL ELIGIBILITY LIMITATION

P R O P O S I T I O N 2

P R O P O S I T I O N 8

COUNTY INFRASTRUCTURE BONDS FORBLIGHTEDAREAS

HOMESTEAD TAX LIMITATION FOR SURVIVING

SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION 47

PASSED HOUSE ON MAY 18

SPOUSES OF ARMED SERVICEMEMBERS

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION 99

FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE ON JUNE 1

What is it asking? This proposition would update requirements to serve on the Texas Supreme Court, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the Texas Appeals Court or as a district judge. It would require 10 years of service as a practicing lawyer or a combined 10 years of service in legal practice and as a judge of a state or county court.

SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION 27

FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE ON MAY 25

What is it asking? Proposition 2 will determine whether counties can authorize bonds or notes to nance development in blighted or underserved areas. Rottinghaus described the amendment as a “shortcut” for county funding and said it could help urban counties going through a population boom.

What is it asking? Proposition 8 allows voters to decide whether surviving spouses of armed service members will be exempted from all or part of property taxes on homesteads, provided they were age 55 or older when their partner died.

PROPOSITIONVOTING Like most places, Travis County sees its highest voter turn out during presidential years, followed by midterms. But the years in between typically see drastically fewer voters going to the polls. In Texas, these are constitutional amendment elections. For an amendment to get on the ballot, two-thirds of both legislative houses must pass it during the legislative session. Then, a majority of voters must cast ballots in favor for it to be passed. In 2019, amendments ran the gamut from pre-emptively preventing the state from instituting an income tax to allowing retired service animals to be adopted by their handlers. Historically, most state constitution amendments pass.

A M E N D M E N T S TOTAL PASSED

Constitutional amendment

Midterm election

Number of registered voters

Percent of voter turnout

Presidential election

2016

725,035

63.8%

2017

7

7

724,725

13.42%

2018

63%

774,302

2019

14.87%

10

9

806,359

2020

70.55%

854,577

28

COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER • COMMUNITYIMPACT.COM

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