State Representative Lynn Stucky, House District 64
On Nov. 5, Texans will have a final chance to cast their votes on ten Constitutional Amendments proposed by the 86th Texas Legislature. This is an important election because it will decide on crucial funding for infrastructure, maximizing resources for smaller communities, and putting limitations on taxes.
From 1876 through November 2017 — the last Constitutional ballot put before Texans — a total of 677 proposed amendments have gone before voters. Texans have approved 498, according to records published by the Texas Legislative Council.
Below is a quick look at what it means to vote “Yes” on the ten proposed amendments this November. This is not meant to influence your vote; the goal is to clear the air and let the public know what it would mean if every single measure is approved by voters.
Prop 1: Municipal Judges
Appointed municipal judges are currently allowed to serve more than one municipality. Voting ‘Yes’ on Prop 1 would extend that same authority to municipal judges who are elected. This will help smaller municipalities to share resources in order to expedite ordinance violations and fine-only misdemeanors.
Prop 2: TWDB Bonds
Voting ‘Yes’ on Prop 2 means the Texas Water Development Board is authorized to issue general obligation bonds up to $200 million total to fund projects for its economically distressed areas program. This program provides funding for infrastructure projects related to water supply or sewer services.
Prop 3: Property Tax Exemption After Natural Disaster
Voting “Yes” on Prop 3 allows residents to qualify for a temporary property tax exemption after an officially-declared natural disaster.
Prop 4: Ban on State Income Tax
Voting “Yes” on Prop 4 means Texas will instate a ban on state income taxes.
Prop 5: Preserving Public Parks
Voting “Yes” on Prop 5 allows existing revenue from state sales and use taxes on sporting goods to go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission to protect and preserve Texas’ natural areas and historic sites.
Prop 6: Increase in CPRIT Funding
Voting “Yes” on Prop 6 allows the legislature to increase the maximum bond amount to $3 billion authorized for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
Prop 7: Available School Fund
Voting “Yes” on Prop 7 allows the State Board of Education or School Land Board to directly allocate $600 million each year to the Available School Fund, which helps provide instructional materials and other classroom needs. The current yearly cap is $300 million.
Prop 8: Creating Flood Infrastructure Fund
Voting “Yes” on Prop 8 will create the flood infrastructure fund, which will be used by the Texas Water Development Board to provide financing for drainage, flood mitigation, and flood control projects around the state.
Prop 9: Property Taxes on Precious Metals
Voting “Yes” on Prop 9 will clarify state law by creating a property tax exemption for gold, silver, and other precious metals held in depositories around the state.
Prop 10: Retired K-9s
Voting “Yes” on Prop 10 eliminates transfer fees charged to law enforcement handlers who take over care of their retired law enforcement animal.
For more analysis on the propositions, including the bill language, pros, cons, and other background information, go to lrl.texas.gov.
Lynn Stucky, D.V.M., is State Representative for Texas House District 64, serving the cities of Denton, Krum, Corinth, Shady Shores, Hickory Creek, Lake Dallas, and rural northwest Denton County.