The Texas Constitutional Amendment Election is now upon us. There are several amendments for the Nov. 8 election seeking voter approval. Those amendments are:
• Proposition 1 “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 100 percent or totally disabled veteran.”
• Proposition 2 “The constitutional amendment providing for the issuance of additional general obligation bonds by the Texas Water Development Board in an amount not to exceed $6 billion at any time outstanding.”
• Proposition 3 “The constitutional amendment providing for the issuance of general obligation bonds of the State of Texas to finance educational loans to students.”
• Proposition 4 “The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to permit a county to issue bonds or notes to finance the development or redevelopment of an unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted area and to pledge for repayment of the bonds or notes increases in ad valorem taxes imposed by the county on property in the area. The amendment does not provide authority for increasing ad valorem tax rates.”
• Proposition 5 “The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to allow cities or counties to enter into interlocal contracts with other cities or counties without the imposition of a tax or the provision of a sinking fund.”
• Proposition 6 “The constitutional amendment clarifying references to the permanent school fund, allowing the General Land Office to distribute revenue from permanent school fund land or other properties to the available school fund to provide additional funding for public education, and providing for an increase in the market value of the permanent school fund for the purpose of allowing increased distributions from the available school fund.”
• Proposition 7 “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.”
• Proposition 8 “The constitutional amendment providing for the appraisal for ad valorem tax purposes of open-space land devoted to water stewardship purposes on the basis of its productive capacity.”
• Proposition 9 “The constitutional amendment authorizing the governor to grant a pardon to a person who successfully completes a term of deferred adjudication community supervision.”
• Proposition 10 “The constitutional amendment to change the length of the unexpired term that causes the automatic resignation of certain elected county or district officeholders if they become candidates for another office.”
Here are brief descriptions of the proposed amendments:
Proposition 1 (SJR 14) would let the Texas Legislature give property tax exemptions on all or part of the market value of homes owned by fully disabled veterans or their surviving spouses.
Proposition 2 (SJR 4) would let the Texas Water Development Board issue general obligation fund bonds, up to $6 billion, to pay for key needs.
Proposition 3 (SJR 50) would authorize the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (or its successors) to issue and sell general obligation bonds to help finance student loans.
Proposition 4 (HJR 63) would let the Legislature give counties the ability to issue bonds or other funding to pay for redeveloping blighted, underdeveloped or unproductive areas and raise property taxes in those areas to help repay the debt. The amendment would not provide independent authority for increasing ad valorem tax rates.
Proposition 5 (SJR 26) would give the Legislature authority to let cities and counties enter into interlocal contracts with other communities to consolidate services and programs - such as criminal justice buildings or equipment maintenance facilities - without having to meet tax assessment and sinking fund requirements.
Proposition 6 (HJR 109) would allow the transfer of up to $300 million a year from the Permanent School Fund - which helps finance Texas public schools - to the Available School Fund, a fund that the Legislature draws from to spend on schools.
Proposition 7 (SJR 28) would add El Paso County to the list of counties that may create conservation and reclamation districts to develop recreational facilities and parks financed by taxes.
Proposition 8 (SJR 16) would give Texans using agricultural exemptions more tools to manage property by encouraging water quality improvement projects.
Proposition 9 (SJR 9) would let the governor grant a pardon, reprieve or commutation of punishment to people who complete deferred adjudication community supervision.
Proposition 10 (SJR 37) would extend the length of time elected officials may serve in office once they announce their candidacy for another office.
Election Day is today, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
This year, voters will be required to present photo identification to vote. A new law requires all voters to present one of the following forms of photo identification in order to be eligible to vote:
• Driver's license, election identification certificate, personal identification card or concealed handgun license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety;
• United State Military identification card containing the person's photograph;
• United States citizenship certificate containing the person's photograph; or
• United States passport.
With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the identification must be current or have expired no more than 60 days before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place.
Following is a list of Nolan County polling places:
• Precinct 1 and 10: First United Methodist Church, 309 Cedar in Sweetwater
• Precinct 2: Trinity Baptist Church, 1506 Santa Fe in Sweetwater.
• Precincts 3 and 11: Lamar Street Baptist Church, 513 Lamar in Sweetwater.
• Precincts 4 and 12: Evangelical Methodist Church, 700 Lamar in Sweetwater.
• Precinct 5: Nolan/Divide Community Center, 1742 FM 126 in Nolan.
• Precincts 6 and 13: Roscoe Community Center, 100 Bois D'Arc in Roscoe.
• Precinct 7: Blackwell School, 610 North Alamo in Blackwell.
• Precinct 8: Maryneal Community Center, 210 Walnut in Maryneal.
• Precincts 9 and 14: Avondale Baptist Church, 1405 Hoyt in Sweetwater.