Texas voters to decide whether rodeo venues can host charitable raffles in November

On May 22, the Texas State Legislature voted to send a constitutional amendment to the ballot that would authorize professional sports team charitable foundations to conduct raffles at rodeo venues. The amendment would also include “an organization sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association or the Women ’s Professional Rodeo Association” when defining “professional sports team.”

To put a legislatively referred constitutional amendment before voters, a two-thirds (66.67 percent) supermajority vote is required in both the Texas State Senate and the Texas House of Representatives.

This amendment was filed as House Joint Resolution 143 (HJR 143) on March 11, 2021. On May 3, 2021, the state House passed HJR 143 in a vote of 123-17, with 10 absent or not voting. The Senate passed the amendment on May 22, 2021, by a vote of 28-2 with one absent.

During the 2021 legislative session, 218 constitutional amendments were filed in the Texas State Legislature. Between 2009 and 2019, an average of 192 constitutional amendments were filed during regular legislative sessions. The state legislature approved an average of nine constitutional amendments during regular legislative sessions. Therefore, the average rate of certification during regular legislative sessions was 4.7%. In 2019, 10 of the 216 proposed constitutional amendments were certified for the ballot, meaning the rate of certification was 4.6%. The 2021 legislative session began on January 12, 2021, and will adjourn on May 31, 2021.

The Texas Legislature has also referred five other ballot measures to the November ballot.

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