On Nov. 5, voters went to the ballot box to vote on a total of 10 propositions that could make their way to the Texas Constitution. All but one of those propositions were passed, upping the total number of amendments to the Constitution to 507.
Proposition 1, which would’ve allowed one to serve as more than one appointed or elected municipal judge, was the only proposition on the ballot that was defeated. The vote was 34.56 percent for and 65.44 percent against.
Proposition 2, which allows the Texas Water Development Board to issue up to $200 million in bonds, was passed with 65.62 percent of voters voting in favor. The proposition allows the Texas Water Development Board to issue bonds on continuing basis as long as the principal doesn’t exceed $200 million to areas that are economically distressed.
Proposition 3, which authorizes temporary property tax exemption for disaster areas, was overwhelmingly passed with 85.09 percent of voters voting for it. Proposition 3 allows the Texas Legislature to require local governments to allow tax exemptions for areas in governor-declared disaster areas.
One of the more contentious issues, Proposition 4, was voted on and passed. Proposition 4 made an income tax in Texas much harder to achieve and was passed with 74.41 percent of voters voting in favor. For a state income tax to happen now, two-thirds of both chambers of the Texas legislature must support it, which would then be brought to the public for the people of Texas to vote on. State Senator Nathan Johnson said this proposition was a “waste of time” because Texas’ economy could change in the future.
Proposition 5, which dedicates revenue from sales tax on sporting goods to parks, wildlife and historical agencies, passed with 88 percent of the vote. Along with directing sales tax revenue to wildlife, Proposition 5 requires a two-thirds vote in both legislative chambers to reduce the amount given to parks, wildlife and historical agencies. The legislature is also now prohibited from lowering the money given by more than 50 percent.
Proposition 6, which authorizes the legislature to increase bond for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute, passed with 64 percent of the vote. The maximum amount of bonds that are allowed to be given has been raised from $3 billion to $6 billion.
Proposition 7, which increases distributions to the state school fund, passed with 74.12 percent voting in favor. Proposition 7 increased the maximum amount of revenue the Texas General Land Office could give to the Available School Fund. The amount of money now allowed has been increased to $600 million from the original $300 million a year.
Proposition 8, which creates a Flood Infrastructure Fund, passed with 77.83 percent voting in favor. The Texas Water Development Board is now allowed to use the fund for issues such as flood drainage, mitigation and control.
Proposition 9, which authorizes property tax exemption for precious metals held in depositories, passed with 51.60 percent of the vote. Proposition 9 allows the Texas legislature to exempt precious metals in metal depositories from property taxes.
Proposition 10, which allows for transfer of law enforcement animals to handlers or others if in the animal’s best interest, passed with 93.75 percent of voters voting in favor. Originally, a retiring police dog or animal was subject to auction, donation or destroyed. However, many local governments had pre-existing exceptions in place that allowed the animals to be adopted. Proposition 10 makes this the norm across the state.