This upcoming November means more to us than just cooler weather, turkey with the family and getting a head start on our Christmas shopping. Like every November following a legislative session, Texas will also host a very important constitutional amendment election.
Our current state constitution took effect in February of 1876, and is one of the most frequently amended state constitutions in this entire nation, with more than 480 amendments being added during its lifespan. Over the many years several critical matters before the Texas Legislature have required amending our constitution in order to achieve strong public policy. I am speaking of issues like lawsuit reform, property tax reductions, bolstering highway funding, shrinking government through repealing outdated state agencies, and prohibiting the enactment of a state income tax. These and many other amendments to our constitution are part of why Texas is the best state to live, work and raise a family.
As a member of the Texas House, I have seen this process firsthand. During my short tenure, voters have approved 44 amendments to our constitution. It is a very important part of public policy, and one that relies very heavily upon civic involvement. On November 3rd, we will be called to the polls again to consider seven proposed constitutional amendments, and I hope you will be joining me in casting your vote on these matters.
This year’s election is no different from the past. Many of the measures presented for consideration are important issues that will directly impact our lives. For example, Proposition 1 seeks to reduce property taxes through a $10,000 increase to the homestead exemption that applies to public school districts. Proposition 6 proposes that the right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife be constitutionally protected in Texas. Highway funding again finds the agenda with Proposition 7, a measure to dedicate certain sales tax revenues directly to new road construction.
Your participation in this election is very important so I encourage you to gather as much information as you can on these seven propositions so that you can make an educated decision on each based upon your values and priorities. One source for unbiased information on this constitutional amendment election is the Secretary of State so please visit www.votetexas.gov/voting/what for ballot language, an explanation of each proposition, and other resources.
Likewise, be mindful of the relevant dates for this election. You can apply for a ballot by mail now through October 23rd so get your application turned in if this is how you intend to vote. The first day of early voting is October 19th and will run through October 30th. Of course, Election Day is November 3rd, and polls will be open until 7 p.m. that evening.
Every public election is important to our way of life, not just U.S. Presidential elections. Often times, those elections that will impact us the closest are those most likely to be overlooked. While I encourage every citizen to reach their own independent decision on ballot propositions, I would be happy to help provide you with any information that you think will be helpful in casting your vote, so please do not hesitate to ask.
As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Texas House of Representatives, and I welcome your feedback on this and any other critical state issues. If you would like to share a thought with me, please feel free to contact me at my Capitol office at 512.463.0688 or by e-mail at [email protected]