Texans to vote on 8 constitutional amendments

·2 min read

Texas voters have eight proposed state constitutional amendments on the ballot this election season.

  • Early voting ends Friday. Polls are open from 7am to 7 pm on Nov. 2.

Why it matters: A majority of Texas voters must approve each amendment to the state’s constitution. The proposed additions were passed as bills during the latest legislative session.

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Here's our guide to what you should expect to see on the ballot:

  • Proposition 1 is distinctly Texan. It would add rodeos to the list of sporting events that can organize raffles to raise money for charity.

  • Proposition 2 authorizes counties to issue bonds to fund transportation infrastructure in underdeveloped areas. Cities and towns can already issue bonds to finance such projects without raising the property tax rate.

Propositions 3 and 6 arose due to the pandemic.

  • Proposition 3 would prohibit governments from taking action that "prohibits or limits religious services." It stems from a larger national COVID-19 debate that pits public health officials trying to stop the disease’s spread against pastors who want to protect their religious practice.

  • Proposition 6 would give residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities the right to designate an "essential caregiver" who could not, under most circumstances, be barred from in-person visits.

Changes to judicial eligibility requirements and judicial oversight make up the other two propositions.

  • Proposition 4 would require candidates for the Texas Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals or a state court of appeals to have 10 years of experience practicing law in the state. District judges would need eight years of legal experience in a Texas court, up from the current requirement of four.

  • Proposition 5 would expand the powers of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct by giving the group oversight of judiciary candidates.

The ballot also includes two property-tax-related amendments.

  • Proposition 7 would extend disability-based homestead exemptions for surviving spouses who are age 55 or older when their disabled spouse dies.

  • Proposition 8 would extend property tax breaks — already available to the spouse of a service member killed in action — to spouses of troops killed in the line of duty but not in combat.

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