These are our recommendations for each of the propositions in the upcoming constitutional amendment ballot, along with our reasoning and videos (where available) by the League of Women Voters of Texas, explaining each prop in more detail.
We believe these votes are the best way we can support the overall vision and mission of Democrats.
Key dates to remember:
Last day to register to vote: October 10
Last day to apply for Ballot by Mail: October 27
Early voting dates: October 23 - November 3
Election (and voting) Day: November 7
If you would like to research other respected organizations' takes on the amendments, we suggest visiting these websites:
Although you can't look at your phones in the voting booth, you can take printed/written voting guides with you. Please print out this handy voter guide (or just write down the proposition number and how you'd like to vote):
Proposing a constitutional amendment protecting the right to engage in farming, ranching, timber production, horticulture, and wildlife management.
Why vote no? While at first this amendment presents itself as protecting family interests, we think what it really accomplishes is taking away local control. Any additional rules/laws can only be made by state agencies so it’s an end run around local control in favor of big business.
LWVCC Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysip53HrETw
Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing a local option exemption from ad valorem taxation by a county or municipality of all or part of the appraised value of real property used to operate a child-care facility.
Why vote yes? The child-care shortage devastates our economy, especially our lower-income families. If we can reduce child-care costs by reducing taxation on those properties, that would be a win.
LWVCC Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J222AJOLh0o
Proposing a constitutional amendment prohibiting the imposition of an individual net worth or wealth tax.
Why vote no? A state income tax was already prohibited by a constitutional amendment in 2019. We should not cut off any further options that could be used to create a more equitable tax system for Texas in the future.
The constitutional amendment to authorize the legislature to establish a temporary limit on the maximum appraised value of real property other than a residence homestead for ad valorem tax purposes; to increase the amount of the exemption from ad valorem taxation by a school district applicable to residence homesteads from $40,000 to $100,000; to adjust the amount of the limitation on school district ad valorem taxes imposed on the residence homesteads of the elderly or disabled to reflect increases in certain exemption amounts; to except certain appropriations to pay for ad valorem tax relief from the constitutional limitation on the rate of growth of appropriations; and to authorize the legislature to provide for a four-year term for a member of the board of directors of certain appraisal districts.
Why vote no? This isn’t a well-thought-out amendment that doesn’t address how this will be paid for in years when there isn’t a surplus. Plus, schools don’t get any of this money, only property owners, and it doesn’t apply to renters (because landlords most likely aren’t going to lower their rents in response to lower property taxes). Plus, they added in MORE partisan elected officials on appraisal boards, probably in an attempt to “build their Republican bench” at the local levels. With that said, many people will not agree with the recommendation to vote no on this.
LWVCC Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2XygnUudoM
The constitutional amendment relating to the Texas University Fund, which provides funding to certain institutions of higher education to achieve national prominence as major research universities and drive the state economy.
Why vote yes? This will use the annual interest income, dividends and investment earnings from Texas’ Rainy Day Fund to support research at state universities (not Texas A&M or University of Texas schools since they receive money elsewhere). This will draw high-quality students, professors, and businesses. Added benefit in our view: USE the Rainy Day Fund rather than let it sit there.
LWVCC Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WQTr8HdSwU
The constitutional amendment creating the Texas water fund to assist in financing water projects in this state.
Why vote yes? It’s a no-brainer that our exploding population and aging water infrastructure is a disaster waiting to happen. Although this fund won’t adequately cover the needs of new needed water projects, it’s a step in the right direction.
LWVCC Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxEp7tLfq6Y
The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the Texas energy fund to support the construction, maintenance, modernization, and operation of electric generating facilities.
Why vote no? This fund would NOT allow loans or grants to wind or solar facilities. So mostly methane gas plants would be built. We need to be exploring more clean energy, like wind and solar energy, more battery storage, more energy efficiency, etc. An energy amendment that gets unqualified support from ConocoPhillips, Koch Companies, BASF Corporation Employees PAC, Texas Association of Manufacturers, Texas Oil and Gas Association, Texas Pipeline Association, and Valero Energy Corporation PAC is untrustworthy.
LWVCC Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8TMxZE2hIE
The constitutional amendment creating the broadband infrastructure fund to expand high-speed broadband access and assist in the financing of connectivity projects.
Why vote yes? The pandemic catapulted internet access into the “critically needed” category, just like electricity and running water. All Texans must have access to internet availability. While the money in the fund isn’t enough to guarantee access to all, it’s a good start.
LWVCC Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bnaw3G5PBjk
The constitutional amendment authorizing the 88th Legislature to provide a cost-of-living adjustment to certain annuitants of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
Why vote yes? Retired teachers haven’t received a cost of living adjustment since 2004. We need to help retired teachers pay their bills.
LWVCC Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPXAPwtPPD8
The constitutional amendment to authorize the legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation equipment or inventory held by a manufacturer of medical or biomedical products to protect the Texas healthcare network and strengthen our medical supply chain.
Why vote no? While it’s important to have a strong medical equipment supply chain, what’s even more important is to have a strong public education system. Reducing property taxes (which is the Texas Legislature’s absolutely favorite way to tout their "conservative bona fides") on a particular industry will hurt our school districts at a time when they are already struggling, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.
LWVCC Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YFS4b8WP3Y
The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to permit conservation and reclamation districts in El Paso County to issue bonds supported by ad valorem taxes to fund the development and maintenance of parks and recreational facilities.
Why vote yes? El Paso County should be able to fund facilities that will help promote its economic growth. Voters of the county would still have to authorize these bonds.
LWVCC Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNlQc8LVsTc
The constitutional amendment providing for the abolition of the office of county treasurer in Galveston County.
Why vote yes? Both a statewide “yes” AND a Galveston County “yes” are required to abolish the office of the county treasurer. If we believe in local control, then we should give the county the right to decide whether to abolish the office. That only happens if the statewide vote is a yes. The county residents can decide.
LWVCC Video: https://youtu.be/xHobkBAN6GI?si=0nfGfdaezE6OClaT
The constitutional amendment to increase the mandatory age of retirement for state justices and judges.
Why vote yes? Experienced judges should be able to serve if they are willing and able. Age 79 does not seem too old to serve, especially if we are allowing our Supreme Court justices to serve until much older ages.
LWVCC Video: https://youtu.be/IRcEWFquIYs?si=X235yP9nMB2K8BlM
The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the centennial parks conservation fund to be used for the creation and improvement of state parks.
Why vote yes? Texas ranks 35th in the nation for state park acreage per capita, according to a report by Environment Texas. We need to protect Texas’ shrinking available land and cultural treasures. Over 95% of Texas land is privately owned. By creating more systems, we can help safeguard diverse wildlife and water resources, provide an economic boost to local areas through recreation usage, and ensure a legacy to future generations.
LWVCC Video: https://youtu.be/4SiKQ6IpvkI?si=VjAvU9NY0_W2UP2a