Voters to decide nine issues
By LPR Staff
Voters across Texas will visit the polls on Tuesday to decide the fate of nine Constitutional amendments proposed by the Texas Legislature, including the highly controversial “gay marriage ban.”
Each of the nine propositions were discussed during the legislature”s last session. Under Texas law, any amendment proposal th
at the voters reject in this election may be resubmitted at a later date.
While some of the propositions deal with laws and procedures, others are “housekeeping” issues that must be clarified by the State.
Creating a Texas Rail Relocation and Improvement Fund.
If voters approve Proposition 1, a fund will be created in the state treasury and administered by the Texas Transportation Commission. The fund will be earmarked for the relocation of privately and publicly owned passenger and freight rail facilities. Under the text of the amendment, the Legislature could dedicate state revenue sources to the fund.
Defining “Marriage” as the union between one man and one woman.
This constitutional amendment will allow the state to determine that “marriage” is to be limited to a relationship between one man and one woman. In addition to precluding legally-recognized homosexual unions, it also prohibits the state from recognizing “civil unions,” defined as “any relationship status other than marriage intended as an alternative to marriage or applying to cohabitants that grants the parties legal protections, benefits or responsibilities granted to spouses…”
Proposition 2, in theory, would not affect the existing protections granted under common law marriage, which is recognized in the State of Texas.
Authorizing local economic development programs, loans and debt.
This amendment would make economic development grants or loans made by local governments, except those backed by ad valorem taxes or bonds, legal under the Texas Constitution.
Allowing bail denial to defendants violating conditions of their release.
If approved, Proposition 4 would leave it to the discretion of a judge to approve or deny bail for accused felons who violate the conditions of their release in any way that threatens the safety of their victim or their community.
Authorizing the Legislature to exempt commercial loans from interest rate caps.
With the approval of this amendment, the Legislature would be allowed to create exemptions for maximum interest rates on business, commercial, investment or agricultural loans.
Increasing the membership of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
This amendments suggests two members, a citizen appointed by the Governor and a County Court Judge appointed by the Texas Supreme Court, be added to the 11-member board, making a total of 13 members. The State Commission on Judicial Conduct is charged with overseeing the conduct, discipline and education of judges.
Allowing line-of-credit advances under reverse mortgages.
This amendment would allow for “line-of-credit” advances, as well as lump-sum advances, on reverse mortgages. Presently, only lump-sum payments are allowed with this type of home equity loan.
Relinquishing state claim to certain land in Upshur and Smith counties.
This propsition affects two parcels of land upon which the Land Commissioner of the State of Texas has dnied vacancy claims. With this amendment, the State will official relinquish any claim to or ownership of the land.
Six-year staggered terms for Regional Mobility Authority board members.
This change would allow members of Regional Mobility Authority boards to serve six-year terms, rather than two-year terms.