The swirling force of Texas politics

Texas Passes 7 State Props, Votes Down 3 Others

Among those passed was a proposition to issue bonds to finance water conservation

By Frank Heinz
|  Wednesday, Nov 9, 2011  |  Updated 12:14 PM CDT
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Texas Passes 7 State Props, Votes Down 3

flickr/tex1sam

Seven of 10 proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution passed Tuesday.

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Texas voters passed seven amendments to the state constitution while voting down three others Tuesday.

Here is a look at all 10 of the state props.  To see a complete listing of all elections, click here.

Proposition 1 would allow the surviving spouses of 100 percent disabled veterans to continue claiming an exemption from state property tax after the veteran dies.  

Winner: For

Proposition 2 would allow the issuance of bonds to help pay for public projects, including a low-interest loan program to finance water conservation, sewage and flood control projects. That amendment would increase the revolving limit on outstanding bond debt to $6 billion.

Winner: For

Proposition 3, would allow the Higher Education Coordinating Board to issue bonds that would fund low-interest student loans. Supporters say it's necessary because budget cuts to financial aid programs at the state and federal level will likely increase the demand for such low-interest, fixed-rate loans.

Winner: For

Proposition 4 would give Texas counties the same authority cities and towns have to issue bonds to finance the development of unproductive, underdeveloped or blighted areas, while pledging repayment with property tax revenues. Critics say the amendment would expand transportation reinvestment zones to counties, which could clear the way for new toll roads. The amendment does not allow for higher property tax rates, but opponents warn that taxpayers could still face higher taxes in the form of increased appraisals to pay for the development.

Winner: Against

Proposition 5, which would authorize the Legislature to allow cities and counties to enter into contracts with other cities and counties without triggering a property tax.

Winner: For

Proposition 6 seeks to recalculate the formula by which funds from the state's Permanent School Fund are distributed, which could increase the amount going to school districts.

Winner: For

Proposition 7 would allow El Paso County to use property taxes from newly created conservation and reclamation districts to develop and maintain parks and recreation facilities.

Winner: Against

Proposition 8, another conservation-related amendment, would require the Legislature to allow for lower appraisals of open-space land that is devoted to water stewardship. Supporters, including the chambers of  commerce from Texas' biggest cities, say it will create an incentive for landowners to manage their property in a  way that conserves and protects water for future generations.

Winner: Against

Proposition 9 would allow the Texas governor to grant a pardon, reprieve or commutation of punishment to a person  who completes a sentence of deferred adjudication. The records could only be cleared on the written recommendation and advice of the Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Winner: For

Proposition 10 would give local elected officeholders an extra 30 days before triggering automatic resignation if they become a candidate for another office.

Winner: For

Associated Press writers April Castro and Chris Tomlinson contributed to this report.

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