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Constitutional Amendment Election: Three Propositions to Affect Counties


Seven joint resolutions were passed during the 85th legislative session proposing constitutional amendments to the state constitution. On Tuesday, Nov. 7, voters will go to the polls to vote for or against the proposed amendments. Three of the proposed amendments are of interest to counties.  




Proposition Number 1 – HJR 21 by Bell

The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of part of the market value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a partially disabled veteran if the residence homestead was donated to the disabled veteran by a charitable organization for less than the market value of the residence homestead and harmonizing certain related provisions of the Texas Constitution.

Proposition 1 has enabling legislation, HB 150 by Rep. Cecil Bell Jr. (R-Magnolia), which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2018, if voters approve the proposed amendment. The enabling legislation would allow for a partially disabled veteran to receive a partial tax exemption for a homestead that was donated at some cost to the veteran.

Proposition Number 4 – SJR 6 by Zaffirini 

The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to require a court to provide notice to the attorney general of a challenge to the constitutionality of a state statute and authorizing the legislature to prescribe a waiting period before the court may enter a judgment holding the statute unconstitutional.

Proposition 4 addresses a Texas Court of Criminal Appeals decision that struck down the state law requiring certain notice when the constitutionality of a state statute is challenged. Specifically, the amendment authorizes the legislature to require a court to provide notice to the attorney general of a challenge to the constitutionality of a state statute. Additionally, the legislature is authorized to prescribe a waiting period of up to 45 days before the court may enter a judgment holding the statute unconstitutional.

Proposition Number 6 – SJR 1 by Campbell 

The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a first responder who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.

Proposition 6 has enabling legislation, SB 15 by Sen. Don Huffines (R-Dallas), which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2018, if voters approve the proposed amendment. SB 15 would entitle the surviving spouse of a first responder killed or fatally injured in the line of duty to a total homestead exemption if the spouse has not remarried since the first responder’s death.

There is a digest of each proposition on the election ballot this Fall, including information from supporters and opponents, in Amendments Proposed for November 2017 Ballot, a publication by the House Research Organization (HRO), a research arm of the Texas House of Representatives.  

An additional resource for information on the proposed constitutional amendments is the Condensed Analyses of Proposed Constitutional Amendments, a publication by the Texas Legislative Council.

A sample of the ballot language may be viewed on the Secretary of State’s website​.

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