Over the next few months the campaign trail will be heating up with candidates announcing their candidacy for various federal, state, district and local offices. There has already been a steady diet of candidates for the governor’s job and the possible opening of the US Senator’s position. But you shouldn't be distracted from our next election, a Constitutional Amendment Election to be held on Tuesday, November 3, 2009.
On the ballot in November of this year are 11 amendments to the Texas Constitution. Typically these elections have a lower turnout than the primary or general elections and yet the effects of changing the constitution will be with us for many years to come.
There are a couple of reasons for the low turnout. One is the lack of adverstising and the other is some confusion about what is on the ballot.
Following is a very short synopsis of the propositions.
Proposition No. 1authorizes financing to create buffer areas protecting military installations and allows construction of roadway utilities or other infrastructure to promote the mission of the military installation.
Proposition No. 2 allows the legislature to value a homestead solely on the basis of its use as a residence.
Proposition No. 3 creates uniform standards and procedures for appraising property.
Proposition No. 4 establishes a national research university fund to enable emerging research universities in this state to achieve national prominence and transfers the balance of the higher education fund to the national research university fund.
Proposition No. 5 allows the legislature to authorize a single board of equalization (appraisal review board) for two or more adjoining and agreeing appraisal entities.
Proposition No. 6 allows the Veterans’ Land Board to issue general obligation bonds equal to or less than previously authorized for the purpose of selling land and providing home or land mortgage loans to veterans of this state.
Proposition No. 7 allows officers or enlisted personnel of the state militia or military force to hold other civil offices.
Proposition No. 8 authorizes the state to contribute money, property or other resources to the establishment, maintenance and operation of veterans hospitals in this state.
Proposition No. 9 defines a state owned beach and protects the rights of the public to individually and collectively to access and use public beaches bordering the seaward shore of the Gulf of Mexico
Proposition No. 10 provides elected members of the governing body of an emergency service district may serve terms not to exceed four years.
Proposition No. 11 prohibits taking private property for public use unless the property is to be used by the State, a political subdivision, the public at large or entities granted the power of eminent domain for the elimination of urban blight but not for economic development or enhancement of tax revenue and limits the legislature’s authority to grant eminent domain.
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