The Texas Tribune reported a long time ago on the Constitutional Amendments that will be going before voters this November, concurrent with Houston’s municipal elections. There will be nine propositions, all based on joint resolutions passed by 2/3 of each house of the State Legislature. Quickly, I’m going to run through all of these amendments.
First up is HJR62, now known as Proposition 1. This prop would authorize the Legislature to create property tax exemptions for military spouses, specifically military widow(er)s.
Next, HJR79, now known as Proposition 2. This prop would clean up part of the constitution by deleting references to the State Medical Education Board and the State Medical Education Fund, both of which have been defunct for many years.
HJR133 will now be known as Proposition 3. This prop would give some tax relief to those storing airplane parts and aerospace manufacturers. Unlike the previous two props, this ballot measure’s devil is in the details. It will not be an easy yes for me, or, I suspect, anyone else in this State.
Following this will be HJR24, now known as Proposition 4. This prop will authorize the Legislature to create property tax exemptions to the homes of disabled veterans or their widow(er)s, if the home was supplied by charity.
Next, SJR18, now known as Proposition 5. The prop, according to the Tribune, “would allow homeowners age 62 or older to use reverse mortgages to purchase residences. The current law only expressly allows traditional mortgages, which lets such homeowners borrow against the equity of their homes. The amendment would allow the prospective borrower to use a Federal Housing Administration-insured home equity conversion mortgage to help buy a new home.” I’m not so sure about how a reverse mortgage would be used to purchase a home, though. I will have to do more research on this one.
Then, of course, there is SJR1, also known as the “Water funding prop,” and Proposition 6. The prop would withdraw about $2Billion from the Rainy Day Fund to help underwrite massive projects ensuring the integrity of this State’s water system for years to come.
HJR87 will appear on the ballot as Proposition 7. The prop will allow municipalities to opt-out of mandatory special elections involving vacancies in City Councils under some conditions. First, the vacancy must be with less than one year remaining the term. Second, the vacancy must involve a City Council with more than a two-year term. Accordingly, Houston will not be affected.
HJR147, now known as Proposition 8, will be another cleanup provision. This prop will remove language about an obsolete hospital district in Hidalgo County.
Finally, SJR42, now known as Proposition 9. This prop expands the options of punishment at the disposal of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct for punishing misbehaving jurists. This will definitely help in Galveston, for sure.
The editorial board will be offering endorsements on all of these props, along with the Astrodome referendum.