Monday marks the beginning of early voting for the November 7 election that will decide the fate of proposed constitutional amendments. Many communities will also vote for city council members and other local offices.
KUT-Austin Senior Editor Ben Philpott says there are seven constitutional amendments up for voter approval, ranging from property tax breaks to loosening of restrictions on home equity loans. Texas Standard Host David Brown asked Philpott to give a preview of what’s on the statewide ballot. The full text of the seven propositions is available from the Secretary of State’s web site.
–Proposition 1 would lower property taxes for partially-disabled veterans and their families, who have benefited from a donated homestead. This proposition closes a loophole in a similar measure that is already part of the state constitution.
–Proposition 2 makes it easier for homeowners to borrow against the equity in their homes. Though Texans can currently obtain home equity loans, this measure would loosen requirements for those loans. Opponents argue that loosening loan requirements would place less-qualified borrowers at greater risk of losing their homes.
–Proposition 3 establishes term limits for individuals appointed to volunteer positions on state boards and commissions. An officeholder would no longer be able to continue on the board after his or her term expires.
–Proposition 4 requires courts to give the Texas attorney general 45 days’ notice of a judgment the court intends to grant against the state. The amendment fixes a previous attempt to provide this kind of notice to the state. The earlier amendment was ruled unconstitutional.
–Proposition 5 is another constitutional fix. A previous measure granted foundations associated with ten professional sports teams the ability to hold charitable raffles. If Proposition 5 passes, any professional sports team foundation will be allowed to conduct such raffles.
–Proposition 6 grants a property tax exemption to the surviving spouses of first responders.
–Proposition 7 gives financial institutions the ability to give away prizes as incentives to encourage customers to open a savings account.
Written by Shelly Brisbin.