Texas’ Constitutional Amendment Election is Tuesday. Here’s what voters will decide.
Texas voters are about to weigh in on 10 proposed amendments to the state constitution, which deal with everything from retiring law enforcement animals to the state’s tax code. Voters in three state House districts will also participate in special elections to fill empty seats.
Election Day is Nov. 5.
During this year’s legislative session, lawmakers passed several bills that require amendments to the Texas Constitution. A majority of Texas voters must vote to support any change to the state constitution in a statewide referendum. In 2017, all seven constitutional amendments on the ballot passed.
How it will read on the ballot: “The constitutional amendment permitting a person to hold more than one office as a municipal judge at the same time.”
What it means: Municipal court judges adjudicate city ordinance violations and certain misdemeanor criminal cases. The proposition would permit elected municipal court judges to serve multiple municipalities at the same time. Currently, only appointed municipal court judges — who make up more than 95 percent of the state’s municipal court judges, according the House Research Organization — can serve multiple jurisdictions at the same time, making it more challenging for small and rural cities to find qualified candidates, some argue.
How it will read on the ballot: “The constitutional amendment providing for the issuance of additional general obligation bonds by the Texas Water Development Board in an amount not to exceed $200 million to provide financial assistance for the development of certain projects in economically distressed areas.
What it means: This would allow TWDB to issue bonds to fund for water and wastewater infrastructure projects in areas where median household income is at or below 75% of the statewide median income level.
This article was written by DAVIS RICH of The Texas Tribune. The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. This article originally appeared at: https://www.texastribune.org/2019/10/15/texas-2019-constitutional-amendments-what-voters-need-know/