Proposed State Constitutional Amendments of Interest to Counties

October 28, 2021

Legislative News

  • Share this:

Texans will go to the polls Tuesday to vote on proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution. A list of the amendments that will appear on the ballot can be found here.

Further information is available in this report by the House Research Organization and in this explanatory statement from the Texas Secretary of State. Early voting ends today. Visit VoteTexas.gov for additional details regarding Tuesday’s election.

The 87th Legislature passed eight joint resolutions. These proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution will take effect immediately if approved by a majority of voters. Four of the proposed amendments are of interest to counties:

Proposition 2 (HJR 99)

“The constitutional amendment authorizing a county to finance the development or redevelopment of transportation or infrastructure in unproductive, underdeveloped, or blighted areas in the county.”

Summary: Authorizes the Legislature to allow a county to issue bonds or notes to finance the development or redevelopment of infrastructure with a transportation reinvestment zone. However, the county may only pledge for repayment of bonds or notes a maximum of 65% of the increases in ad valorem tax revenue each year. The same restrictions apply to toll roads.

If you are interested in communicating the importance of the amendment to your constituents, a media kit is available on this website.

Proposition 3 (SJR 27)

“The constitutional amendment to prohibit this state or a political subdivision of this state from prohibiting or limiting religious services of religious organizations.”

Summary: Prohibits a county from enacting, adopting or issuing an order that prohibits or limits religious services, including all religious services conducted in churches, congregations or in a place of worship. This proposed amendment’s enabling legislation failed to pass.

Proposition 6 (SJR 19)

“The constitutional amendment establishing a right for residents of certain facilities to designate an essential caregiver for in-person visitation.”

Summary: Allows residents of nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, intermediate care facilities or state-supported living centers to designate an essential caregiver that may not be prohibited from visiting the resident, including during a pandemic.

Proposition 8 (SJR 35)

“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 member of the armed services of the United States who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.”

Summary: Authorizes the Legislature to provide an exemption from ad valorem tax to the spouse of those members of the military who are killed in the line of duty. This proposed amendment would make clear that the spouse of a member of the armed services killed in a training exercise is eligible for the tax exemption.

A sample ballot is available on the Secretary of State's website.

For more information about this article, please contact Rick Thompson or Nanette Forbes.