CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT VOTERS GUIDE

Proposition 1 (HJR 143)
Allows Rodeos to Conduct Charitable Raffles

Authorizes a charitable foundation of an organization sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association to conduct charitable raffles at rodeo events.

Supporters Say: This amendment would allow charitable raffles to take place at rodeo events, in line with its current authority to allow such raffles at other professional sporting events.

Opponents Say: No concerns identified.

Proposition 2 (HJR 99)
Authorizes counties to issue bonds in order to finance the development of land within the county.

Allows counties to issue bonds to finance the development of unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted area within the county and to pledge increases in property tax revenues for repayment of those bonds or notes.

Supporters Say: This amendment would provide counties with a vital financing tool that could be used to develop certain areas of the county. Texas has a need for more infrastructure to match our growing population and this tool could assist in providing that much needed infrastructure.

Opponents Say: This financing tool will increase the debt burden for counties, who already have too much outstanding debt.

Proposition 3 (SJR 27)
Prohibits local governments from limiting religious services.

Prohibits the state or a local government from enacting, adopting, or issuing a statute, order, proclamation, decision, or rule that prohibited or limited religious services, including religious services conducted in churches, congregations, and places of worship, in this state by a religious organization established to support and serve the propagation of a sincerely held religious belief.

Supporters Say: This amendment is necessary to guarantee people of faith the ability to freely exercise their religious beliefs, even during emergency orders. The unprecedented closure of churches, mosques, and synagogues last year negatively impacted many who were struggling with isolation and stress during the pandemic.

Opponents Say: This amendment will restrict the ability of public health officials to limit in-person gatherings during a pandemic and could result in putting more people at risk of contracting the virus during the pandemic.

Proposition 4 (SJR 47)
Creates eligibility requirements for certain judicial offices in the state.

Authorizes the State Commission on Judicial Conduct to accept complaints or reports, conduct investigations, and take other actions with respect to a candidate for state judicial office in the same manner the commission may take those actions with respect to a person holding such office.

Supporters Say: This amendment would level the playing field between judicial candidates and incumbents. Currently, elected judicial officers are held to high standards specified in the Code of Judicial Conduct, whereas their non-judge opponents are not.

Opponents Say: This amendment would significantly increase the responsibilities of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct by expanding the list of individuals potentially subject to a complaint or investigation by the commission.

Proposition 5 (HJR 165)
Allows the State Commission on Judicial Conduct to Review Judicial Candidates.

Changes the eligibility requirements to serve on the Texas Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, and courts of appeals and for election as a district judge. Appellate judges would be required to be licensed to practice law in Texas, a Citizen of the U.S., at least 35 years old, and have at least 10 years of certain experience practicing law in Texas. District judges would be required to have practiced law for 8 years, whereas current law only requires 4 years experience.

Supporters Say: This amendment would strengthen the judicial qualifications and ensure a higher quality judiciary in Texas.

Opponents Say: This amendment is unnecessary and would limit the choices that voters have on their ballot.

Proposition 6 (SJR 19)
Ensures nursing home residents have access to an essential caregiver for in-person visits.

Authorizes residents of certain long-term care facilities to designate an essential caregiver with whom the facility could not prohibit in-person visitation.

Supporters Say: This amendment would ensure that residents at long-term care facilities will have access to an in-person visit from their designated essential caregiver. Essential caregivers are vital in providing hands-on care and social and emotional support to residents that supplements care provided by facility staff.

Opponents Say: The ability to allow in-person visits should be made by state and local health officials.

Proposition 7 (HJR 125)
Provides property tax relief to the surviving spouse of a disabled individual.

Provides that the surviving spouse of an individual who received a limitation on the school district property taxes on the person's residence homestead on the basis of disability continued to receive that limitation while the property remained the spouse's residence homestead if the spouse was at least 55 years old.

Supporters say: This amendment is necessary to validate the enactment of a bill passed last legislative session that ensured that the surviving spouse of an individual with a disability who died continued to receive the residence homestead exemption, just like the spouses of deceased individuals over 65 are allowed.

Opponents Say: No concerns identified.

Proposition 8 (SJR 35)
Provides property tax relief to certain surviving spouses of a member of the armed forced.

Expands the eligibility for a property tax exemption provided to the surviving spouse of a member of the U.S. armed services. The spouse would be entitled to the exemption if the member was killed or fatally injured in the line of duty, rather than killed in action.

Supporters Say: This amendment is necessary to fix an oversight in current law. A surviving spouse should be entitled to the property tax exemption in instances where the member of the armed services is killed in non-hostile events.

Opponents Say: These types of property tax exemptions are only granted to a small group, therefore increasing the burden on all the other property owners.