STATE LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - October 2019
A special thank you to outgoing State Representative, Dwayne Bohac for the contents listed below. With some edits and revisions for space considerations, and a few changes in the introductory wording, Rep. Bohac's detailed analysis of the propositions on the ballot this November was so good, we wanted to make sure as many people saw it as possible.
Earlier this year, the 86th Texas Legislature passed 10 joint resolutions proposing amendments to the Texas Constitution, and these proposed amendments will be offered for approval by the voters of Texas in the November 5th election.
Article 17 of the Texas Constitution provides that the state legislature, by a 2/3 vote of all members of each house, may propose amendments revising the Texas Constitution and that proposed amendments must then be submitted for approval to the qualified voters of the state. A proposed amendment becomes a part of the Texas Constitution if a majority of the votes cast in an election on the proposition are cast in its favor. Now it is up to each of us.
PROPOSITION 1 (HJR 72)
“The constitutional amendment permitting a person to hold more than one office as a municipal judge at the same time.”
HJR 72 proposes a constitutional amendment permitting an elected municipal judge to serve as a municipal judge in more than one municipality at the same time. Unlike an appointed municipal judge, an elected municipal judge may not concurrently hold another municipal judge office. This amendment would allow an elected municipal judge to serve as a municipal judge in more than one municipality at the same time, in the same manner as appointed municipal judges.
PROPOSITION 2 (SJR 79)
“The constitutional amendment providing for the issuance of additional general obligation bonds by the Texas Water Development Board in an amount not to exceed $200 million to provide financial assistance for the development of certain projects in economically distressed areas.”
SJR 79 proposes a constitutional amendment authorizing the Texas Water Development Board to issue additional general obligation bonds, in an amount that does not exceed $200 million, for the economically distressed areas program. These bonds can only be used to provide financing for the development of water supply and sewer service projects in those economically distressed areas as defined by law.
PROPOSITION 3 (HJR 34)
“The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for a temporary exemption from ad valorem taxation of a portion of the appraised value of certain property damaged by a disaster.”
HJR 34 proposes a constitutional amendment allowing the legislature to temporarily exempt from ad valorem taxation a portion of certain property located in an area covered by a disaster declaration of the governor. The proposed amendment would allow the legislature to prescribe the method of determining the amount of the tax exemption and the duration of the exemption and also would allow the legislature to create any additional eligibility requirements for the tax exemption.
PROPOSITION 4 (HJR 38)
“The constitutional amendment prohibiting the imposition of an individual income tax, including a tax on an individual’s share of partnership and unincorporated association income.”
HJR 38 proposes a constitutional amendment prohibiting the state from imposing or collecting an individual income tax, including an individual’s share of partnership and unincorporated association income. There is no current constitutional bar on imposing or collecting an individual income tax.
PROPOSITION 5 (SJR 24)
“The constitutional amendment dedicating the revenue received from the existing state sales and use taxes that are imposed on sporting goods to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission to protect Texas’ natural areas, water quality, and history by acquiring, managing, and improving state and local parks and historic sites while not increasing the rate of the state sales and use taxes.”
SJR 24 proposes a constitutional amendment that would automatically appropriate the net revenue received from the portion of the state’s tax revenue received on sales of sporting goods to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the Texas Historical Commission (THC). The legislature would maintain the authority to determine the specific uses of the funds and their allocation between TPWD and THC.
PROPOSITION 6 (HJR 12)
“The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to increase by $3 billion the maximum bond amount authorized for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.”
HJR 12 proposes a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to increase the maximum bond amount for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) from $3 billion to $6 billion to be issued by the Texas Public Finance Authority. CPRIT was created in 2007 to promote and fund cancer research in Texas. CPRIT uses bond proceeds to award grants for cancer research and prevention.
PROPOSITION 7 (HJR 151)
“The constitutional amendment allowing increased distributions to the available school fund.”
HJR 151 proposes a constitutional amendment allowing increased distributions from $300 million per year to $600 million per year to the available school fund and also allowing the State Board of Education, the General Land Office, and other entities that manage revenue from land or other properties held in the permanent school fund to distribute certain revenue to the available school fund.
PROPOSITION 8 (HJR 4)
“The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the flood infrastructure fund to assist in the financing of drainage, flood mitigation, and flood control projects.”
HJR 4 proposes a constitutional amendment creating the flood infrastructure fund as a special fund in the state treasury, using money appropriated from the economic stabilization fund. The flood infrastructure fund would provide additional resources to implement plans to mitigate flood damage. The proposed amendment would authorize the Texas Water Development Board to use money in the flood infrastructure fund for drainage, flood mitigation, or flood control projects. The proposed amendment also would authorize the creation of separate accounts in the flood infrastructure fund as necessary to administer the fund or authorized projects.
PROPOSITION 9 (HJR 95)
“The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation precious metal held in a precious metal depository located in this state.”
HJR 95 proposes a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to create a property tax exemption for precious metal held in a precious metal depository located in this state.
PROPOSITION 10 (SJR 32)
“The constitutional amendment to allow the transfer of a law enforcement animal to a qualified caretaker in certain circumstances.”
SJR 32 proposes a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to allow a state agency or political subdivision to transfer a law enforcement animal to the animal’s handler or another qualified caretaker in certain circumstances. Currently, the Texas Constitution prevents the
transfer of certain public property, such as law enforcement animals, to a private person or organization at no cost. This amendment authorizes the legislature to allow the transfer of a law enforcement animal to the animal’s handler or another qualified caretaker at no cost, upon the animal’s retirement or at another time if the transfer is determined to be in the animal’s best interest.
It has been an absolute privilege to serve as your legislative chair. I look forward to being on the front lines this next legislative session serving side by side with you. God Bless You and God Bless Texas. #Onward
Jennifer Knesek may be reached by text at 254-702-1109 or email at CatholicConservative12@gmail.com.
Pol. Adv. paid by Magic Circle Republican Women's Club, Joan Buschor, PAC Treasurer. -- Federal Disclaimer: Solicitations made by Federal candidates and officeholders at this event are limited by Federal law. The Federal candidates and officeholders speaking or appearing in this publication are soliciting only donations of up to $2,400 from individuals and up to $5,000 from multi-candidate political committees. They are not soliciting donations in any amount from corporations, labor organizations, national banks, Federal contractors, or foreign nationals.