SAN ANTONIO – Find more coverage of the 2021 election here.
Voters across Texas headed to the polls on Tuesday to vote on eight amendments to the Texas Constitution, a special election in House District 118 and several bond and municipal elections in the San Antonio area. See results in the embed below, followed by more context for the amendments, races and bonds.
In addition to the amendments, there is a special election runoff for a Texas House seat in southeast San Antonio. Republican John Lujan is facing Democrat Frank Ramirez for the Democratic-leaning seat that former state Rep. Leo Pacheco, D-San Antonio, vacated earlier this year.
Lujan briefly held the seat in 2016; Ramirez is a former staffer for the San Antonio City Council and at the Texas Legislature. Click here to find out where you can vote in the runoff if you live in the district.
Voters in the San Antonio area will also vote in municipal and school board elections. In addition, several San Antonio-area school districts are holding bond elections, including:
- Comal ISD: $500 million for new schools, recreational facilities and expanding football stadiums.
- New Braunfels ISD: $350 million for property to build on, new school buses and technology.
- Judson ISD: 3 bond proposals totaling $300 million for facilities and technology.
- East Central ISD: $172+ million for new schools.
- Southside ISD: $52 million for buying, building, renovating, equipping and improving school buildings.
All the bond programs, if approved, would include a property tax increase.
The constitutional amendments 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. They cover a range of topics, including taxes, judicial eligibility, religious freedom and development.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.