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2013 Constitutional Amendments

This webpage is a work in progress and will be updated as additional information becomes available.

TEXAS CONSTITUTION

The Texas Constitution (http://www.constitution.legis.state.tx.us/) is among the longest of state constitutions in the United States with a preamble, 17 articles and an appendix.


CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT PROCESS

Since its initial adoption in 1876, a total of 653 amendments have been proposed to voters, of which 474 were approved and 179 were rejected. An amendment is proposed in a joint resolution that can originate in either house of the state legislature during a regular or special session. A joint resolution specifies the election date and may contain more than one amendment. The joint resolution must receive a vote of two-thirds of each house before it is presented to the voters. The governor cannot veto a joint resolution.

The governor can, however, veto the enabling legislation, the bill to enact the amendment if it is passed by voters. Not all amendments require enabling legislation. If the voters reject an amendment, the enabling legislation does not take effect. If the amendment fails, the legislature may resubmit it in a future legislative session. Amendments take effect when the official vote canvass confirms statewide voter approval, unless a later date is specified in the joint resolution.

2013 JOINT RESOLUTIONS

In the 2013 regular session of the Texas Legislature, 130 joint resolutions were filed in the House and 63 were filed in the Senate. Ultimately 10 joint resolutions received the required two-thirds vote in each chamber. Two are identical, so there will be 9 proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot for the November 5, 2013 Constitutional Amendment Election.

Three special sessions were called by Governor Perry for 2013, and joint resolutions were filed in both chambers during each special session. In the first special session, 11 joint resolutions were filed in the House and 10 in the Senate but none were passed by either chamber. In the second special session, 10 joint resolutions were filed in each chamber, but again none were passed. In the third special session, 3 joint resolutions were filed in the House and 2 in the Senate. One passed both chambers with the required two-thirds vote, but will not be on the ballot until November 4, 2014.

Click a session below for a list of all of the joint resolutions filed in either chamber with the author, caption, and last action taken. Within a list click the joint resolution number to go to the Texas Legislature Online “Legislative History” page for that resolution. The tabs at the top of the page can be used to find additional information.

NINE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS ON THE NOV. 5, 2013 BALLOT

The propositions on the November 5 ballot are listed below in ballot order with the official ballot language. The ballot order for proposed constitutional amendments was determined in a drawing by Secretary of State John Steen on August 5. Voters will decide on the proposed amendments below listed in ballot order. A majority vote is needed for passage.

The joint resolution for each proposition is also indicated. Clicking on the joint resolution number will bring you to the Texas Legislature Online “Text” page for that joint resolution where you can find the versions of the resolution introduced and passed, fiscal notes, witness lists, analyses, and other documents. Tabs at the top of the “Text” page lead to additional information on progress of the joint resolution through the legislative process.

Proposition 1
Official Ballot Language:
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 in action.

Proposition 2
Official Ballot Language:
The constitutional amendment eliminating an obsolete requirement for a State Medical Education Board and a State Medical Education Fund, neither of which is operational.

Proposition 3
Official Ballot Language:
The constitutional amendment to authorize a political subdivision of this state to extend the number of days that aircraft parts that are exempt from ad valorem taxation due to their location in this state for a temporary period may be located in this state for purposes of qualifying for the tax exemption.

Proposition 4
Official Ballot Language:
The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of part of the market value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a partially disabled veteran if the residence homestead was donated to the disabled veteran by a charitable organization.

Proposition 5
Official Ballot Language:
The constitutional amendment to authorize the making of a reverse mortgage loan for the purchase of homestead property and to amend lender disclosures and other requirements in connection with a reverse mortgage loan.

Proposition 6
Official Ballot Language:
The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas and the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas to assist in the financing of priority projects in the state water plan to ensure the availability of adequate water resources.

Proposition 7
Official Ballot Language:
The constitutional amendment authorizing a home-rule municipality to provide in its charter the procedure to fill a vacancy on its governing body for which the unexpired term is 12 months or less.

Proposition 8
Official Ballot Language:
The constitutional amendment repealing Section 7, Article IX, Texas Constitution, which relates to the creation of a hospital district in Hidalgo County.

Proposition 9
Official Ballot Language:
The constitutional amendment relating to expanding the types of sanctions that may be assessed against a judge or justice following a formal proceeding instituted by the State Commission on Judicial Contact.


TEXAS VOTERS WILL DECIDE

This weekly series of press releases from Sept. 4 to Oct. 16 will focus on one or two propositions on the ballot each week to help bring public awareness and understanding of the issues at stake in the Constitutional Amendment Election.