All 8 Proposed Amendments on November Ballot Now Part of Texas Constitution

December 10, 2021

Legislative News

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The 87th Legislature passed eight joint resolutions proposing amendments to the Texas Constitution, all of which took effect immediately after voters approved them on Nov. 2. As mentioned in a previous County Issues article, four of the amendments are of particular interest to counties. Those four are accompanied by a short summary in the following list.

  • Proposition 1: “The constitutional amendment authorizing the professional sports team charitable foundations of organizations sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) or the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association to conduct charitable raffles at rodeo venues.”

    • PASSED with 83.82% of the vote.

  • Proposition 2: “The constitutional amendment authorizing a county to finance the development or redevelopment of transportation or infrastructure in unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted areas in the county.”

    • TAC summary: Authorizes the Legislature to allow a county to issue bonds or notes to finance the development or redevelopment of infrastructure with a transportation reinvestment zone. However, the county may only pledge for repayment of bonds or notes a maximum of 65% of the increases in ad valorem tax revenue each year. The same restrictions apply to toll roads.

    • PASSED with 63.09% of the vote.

  • Proposition 3: “The constitutional amendment to prohibit this state or a political subdivision of this state from prohibiting or limiting religious services of religious organizations.”

    • TAC summary: Prohibits a county from enacting, adopting or issuing an order that prohibits or limits religious services, including all religious services conducted in churches, congregations or in a place of worship. This proposed amendment’s enabling legislation failed to pass.

    • PASSED with 62.42% of the vote.

  • Proposition 4: “The constitutional amendment changing the eligibility requirements for a justice of the supreme court, a judge of the court of criminal appeals, a justice of a court of appeals, and a district judge.”

    • PASSED with 58.78% of the vote.

  • Proposition 5: “The constitutional amendment providing additional powers to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct with respect to candidates for judicial office.”

    • PASSED with 59.23% of the vote.

  • Proposition 6: “The constitutional amendment establishing a right for residents of certain facilities to designate an essential caregiver for in-person visitation.”

    • TAC summary: Grants residents of nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, intermediate care facilities or state-supported living centers the right to designate an essential caregiver that may not be prohibited from visiting the resident, including during a pandemic.

    • PASSED with 87.87% of the vote.

  • Proposition 7: “The constitutional amendment to allow the surviving spouse of a person who is disabled to receive a limitation on the school district ad valorem taxes on the spouse’s residence homestead if the spouse is 55 years of age or older at the time of the person’s death.”

    • PASSED with 87.12% of the vote.

  • Proposition 8: “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 member of the armed services of the United States who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.”

    • TAC summary: Authorizes the Legislature to provide an exemption from ad valorem tax to the spouse of those members of the military who are killed in the line of duty. This proposed amendment would make clear that the spouse of a member of the armed services killed in a training exercise is eligible for the tax exemption.

    • PASSED with 87.78% of the vote.

For more information about this article, please contact Amy Befeld.