State Constitutional Amendments Are On The Texas Ballot. What You Need To Know.

Posted on 10/01/21 by Marina Garcia

Eight proposed state constitutional amendments are on the ballot in Texas – and early voting opportunities will soon be underway.

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This election will focus on proposed changes to the constitution that were approved by at least two-thirds of the Texas House of Representatives and Texas Senate. Now it’s up to Texas voters to consider these amendments.

The deadline to register to vote in Texas for the Nov. 2 elections is Monday, Oct. 4.

You can register to vote if you are:

  • A U.S. citizen
  • A resident of the county where you submit the registration application
  • Age 18 on Election Day
  • Not a convicted felon (though you are eligible to vote if you have completed your sentence, probation and parole)
  • Not declared mentally incapacitated by a court of law.

Here is a breakdown of what all eight amendments are about:

Proposition Number 1 (HJR 143):
Labeled as the “Rodeo Raffles,” this amendment lets professional sports teams conduct raffles for their foundation’s charitable purposes. This amendment was proposed by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association, where they would be allowed to hold charitable raffles at rodeo events.

Proposition Number 2 (HJR 99):
This amendment would allow counties to finance development projects of underdeveloped, unproductive or underserved areas through bonds. This is significant because counties in Texas were not able to do so before, only cities in Texas could finance these types of projects.

Proposition Number 3 (SRJ 27):
This amendment will stop governmental entities from passing any rules that prohibits or limits religious services in the state. Places of worship now can make their own decision on whether to have services, with more freedom happening after COVID-19 hindered having services in the past year.

Proposition Number 4 (SRJ 47):
This amendment changes the qualification for most judges elected in Texas. Judicial candidates would be required to be Texas residents with a license to practice law in Texas. The amendment would also require that candidates have at least eight years of practice as a lawyer or judge before being elected, as well as not having their law licensed revoked or suspended during that time.

Proposition Number 5 (HJR 165):
The Texas Constitution only allows the State Commission on Judicial Conduct (SCJC) to take complaints or reports, conduct investigations and act against persons already holding a judicial office. With this amendment, the SCJC can investigate candidates for a state judicial office before they are appointed.

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Proposition Number 6 (SJR 19)
This amendment would allow residents of certain facilities to have the right to designate an essential caregiver, who cannot be prohibited by the facility for in-person visitation. The legislature would also provide guidelines for these facilities to follow in establishing essential caregiver visitation policies and procedures.

This amendment would apply to nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, intermediate care facility for individuals with an intellectual disability, residence providing home and community-based services, or state-supported living centers.

Proposition Number 7 (HJR 125):
This amendment allows the spouses of those receiving limitations on school district property taxes due to disability are to remain in place if their spouse dies and the property is owned by the surviving spouse if they are 55 or older.

Proposition Number 8 (SJR 35):
This amendment would expand the definition of “killed in action” to include service members that have died due to any injuries sustained during their service so that their surviving spouses get tax exemptions.

Important dates to remember:
Oct. 4: Last day to register to vote or chance voter registration address
Oct 22: Last day to receive absentee ballot requests for those voting by mail
Oct. 18 to Oct. 29: Early voting
Nov. 2: Election Day

Check To See if You’re Registered to Vote:
Check your registration on the Texas Secretary of State website. Make certain that your name and address are correct.  

This story is provided by AARP Texas. Visit the AARP Texas page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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