What to know about Texas constitutional amendment election on Nov. 2, 2021

Eight proposals will be decided by voters

KSAT12's Fares Sabawi joins GMSA@9 to discuss the Texas Constitutional Amendment election.
KSAT12's Fares Sabawi joins GMSA@9 to discuss the Texas Constitutional Amendment election.

Early voting is underway in Texas’ constitutional amendment election.

Texas voters will decide on eight proposed constitutional amendments in a statewide election slated for Nov. 2. Early voting began on Monday, and will continue through Oct. 29.

The proposals, which were approved by at least two-thirds of the Texas House of Representatives and Texas Senate this past session, must be approved by a majority of voters before they are enshrined in the state constitution as law.

The constitutional amendments cover a range of topics, including taxes, judicial eligibility, religious freedom and development.

Votes can be cast in-person or by mail for voters who requested a mail ballot.

In Bexar County, voters can cast a ballot in any of these early vote locations:

READ MORE: 9 new laws that took effect Sept. 1 in Texas

The 8 proposed constitutional amendments are:

Proposition 1 - Rodeo Raffles

If passed, this constitutional amendment will allow the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association to hold charitable raffles at rodeo events.

Proposition 2 - Development

The proposed constitutional amendment would allow counties to finance the development of undeveloped, unproductive or underserved areas through bonds. Currently, cities are authorized to call such bonds but not counties.

Proposition 3 - Religious Services

This constitutional amendment will bar all governmental entities in Texas from adopting any rule that limits or prohibits religious services. The amendment would bolster freedom for churches and other places of worship, many of which greatly reduced services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Proposition 4 - Judicial Eligibility Requirements

This amendment would change the requirements for most judges elected in Texas. The proposed amendment would require judicial candidates to be Texas residents with a license to practice law in Texas. It would also require that candidates are a practicing lawyer or judge for at least eight years before they are elected and have not had their law license revoked or suspended during that time.

Proposition 5 - State Commission on Judicial Conduct

This amendment would allow the State Commission on Judicial Conduct to accept complaints, conduct investigations, and “take any other authorized action” regarding a candidate running for state judicial offices. Currently, the commission can only take such actions on officeholders, not candidates.

Proposition 6 - Caregiver Designation

Under this proposed amendment, residents in nursing and assisted-living facilities or state-supported living centers would have the right to designate an “essential caregiver.” This caregiver could not be denied in-person visitation.

Proposition 7 - Homestead Exemption

If a spouse who is receiving limitations on school district property taxes due to disability dies, this amendment allows those limitations to remain in place as long as the property remains owned by the surviving spouse if they are 55 or older.

Proposition 8 - Tax Exemption

The Texas Constitution currently provides tax exemptions to a surviving spouse for members of the armed services who are killed in action. This amendment would expand that definition to include service members who die due to any injuries sustained during their service, whether it is combat-related or not.

Read the ballot language or more details on the proposals here.


About the Author:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.