August 03, 2007
The amendment lineup for the fall election

Get ready for another long list of constitutional amendments on your ballot this November.

Texas voters will decide whether to approve as much as $3 billion in bonds for cancer research when they go to the polls in November to have their say on 16 proposed state constitutional amendments.

The cancer research proposal will be 15th on the ballot, as determined Wednesday in a random drawing by Secretary of State Phil Wilson. He urged participation in the Nov. 6 election and said not enough Texans vote.

"This is something we must change," he said. "Constitutional amendment elections play an important role in shaping the future of our state, and I am committed to spreading that message to every region of Texas."

Well, if we really cared about making sure we got maximal turnout for these elections, we'd hold them in even-numbered years, when people normally expect to vote. Given that most municipal elections are held in May in odd years (Houston being the prime exception), what kind of turnout do you expect? And, not to put too fine a point on it, but as we know from the 2003 amendment election, which was scheduled in September so the expected high turnout in Houston due to the contested Mayor's race wouldn't make it easier to defeat the evil tort "reform" measure Prop 12, paeans to turnout should generally be taken with a sizeable grain of salt.

Anyway. For your reference, the full list of amendments is beneath the fold.

Proposition 1

Provides for continuing the constitutional appropriation for facilities and other capital items at Angelo State University in a change of governance of the university.

Proposition 2

Provides for issuing $500 million in general obligation bonds to finance student loans and authorizes bond enhancement agreements for general obligation bonds issued for that purpose.

Proposition 3

Authorizes the Legislature to provide that the maximum appraised value of a residence homestead for ad valorem taxation is the lesser of these: the most recent market value of the home as determined by the appraisal entity or 110 percent -- or a greater percentage -- of the appraised value of the home for the preceding tax year.

Proposition 4

Authorizes issuance of up to $1 billion in bonds for maintenance, improvement, repair and construction projects and for the purchase of equipment.

Proposition 5

Authorizes the Legislature to permit the voters of a municipality with a population under 10,000 to authorize its governing body to enter an agreement with an owner of real property in or adjacent to the municipality that has been approved for funding under certain programs administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture. Would allow the parties to agree that all ad valorem taxes imposed on the owner's property may not be increased for the first five tax years after the tax year in which the agreement is entered into.

Proposition 6

Authorizes the Legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation one motor vehicle that the owner uses in his or her occupation or profession and for personal activities.

Proposition 7

Allows governmental entities to sell property acquired through eminent domain back to the previous owners at the price the entities paid to acquire the property.

Proposition 8

Clarifies certain provisions relating to the making of a home equity loan and use of home equity loan proceeds.

Proposition 9

Authorizes the Legislature to exempt all or part of the residence homesteads of certain totally disabled veterans from ad valorem taxation and authorizes a change in the manner of determining the amount of the existing exemption from ad valorem taxation to which a disabled veteran is entitled.

Proposition 10

Abolishes the constitutional authority for the office of inspector of hides and animals.

Proposition 11

Requires that a recorded vote be taken by a house of the Legislature on final passage of any bill, other than certain local bills and ceremonial resolutions, and provides for public access on the Internet to those recorded votes.

Proposition 12

Provides for the issuance of up to $5 billion in general obligation bonds by the Texas Transportation Commission for highway improvement projects.

Proposition 13

Authorizes the denial of bail to someone who violates certain court orders or conditions of release in a felony or family violence case.

Proposition 14

Permits a justice or judge who reaches the mandatory retirement age while in office to serve the remainder of his or her current term.

Proposition 15

Requires the creation of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas and authorizes issuance of up to $3 billion in bonds for research in Texas to find the causes of and cures for cancer.

Proposition 16

Provides for issuance of additional general obligation bonds by the Texas Water Development Board up to $250 million to provide assistance to economically distressed areas.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 03, 2007 to Election 2007