Texas deputy secretary of state draws ballot order for November ballot measures

On July 29, Texas Deputy Secretary of State Joe Esparza drew the ballot order for the eight constitutional amendments referred to the November ballot during the state legislature’s regular session.

The deadline to add a measure to the ballot is August 16. However, with a lack of quorum in the Texas House of Representatives due to Democrats protesting a bill related to state elections, the state legislature is unlikely to refer any other amendments during its special legislative session.

The Texas State Legislature convened a special legislative session on July 8 that was set to adjourn on August 7. As of July 30, state legislators had introduced 33 constitutional amendments during the special legislative session—26 in the House and seven in the Senate. Two resolutions had passed the Senate.

During the regular legislative session, which convened on January 12 and adjourned on May 31, state legislators filed 218 constitutional amendments. The following eight amendments met the two-thirds vote requirement in each chamber to be referred to the November ballot:

  1. Proposition 1 would amend the state constitution to (i) authorize professional sports team charitable foundations to conduct raffles at rodeo venues and (ii) include professional association-sanctioned rodeos in the definition of professional sports team.
  2. Proposition 2 would authorize a county to issue bonds to fund infrastructure and transportation projects in undeveloped and blighted areas.
  3. Proposition 3 would prohibit the state or any political subdivision from enacting a law, rule, order, or proclamation that limits religious services or organizations.
  4. Proposition 4 would change the eligibility requirements for the following judicial offices: a justice of the supreme court, a judge of the court of criminal appeals, a justice of a court of appeals, and a district judge.
  5. Proposition 5 would authorize the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct to accept and investigate complaints and reports against candidates running for state judicial office.
  6. Proposition 6 would amend the state Constitution to state that residents of nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, or state-supported living centers have a right to designate an essential caregiver that may not be prohibited from visiting the resident.
  7. Proposition 7 would allow the legislature to extend a homestead tax limit for surviving spouses of disabled individuals as long as the spouse is 55 years old and resides at the home.
  8. Proposition 8 would allow the legislature to apply a homestead tax exemption for surviving spouses of members of the military to those fatally injured in the line of duty.

Between the Texas House and Texas Senate, at least 121 votes were needed to pass a constitutional amendment. In Texas, the average number of legislative votes for a constitutional amendment was 164 between 1995 and 2021. In 2021, the average number of votes was 160.

Between 1995 and 2019, Texas voters decided on 169 statewide measures. Of those, the top five topics voted on were taxes (39 measures), bonds (20 measures), administration of government (16 measures), government budget and finances (16 measures), and property (11 measures). 

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