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Progress Texas 2013 Constitutional Amendment Ballot Guide

Progress Texas 2013 Constitutional Amendment Ballot Guide

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Published by ProgressTX
A guide for voting on the constitutional amendments that appear on the 2013 ballot.
A guide for voting on the constitutional amendments that appear on the 2013 ballot.

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Published by: ProgressTX on Oct 23, 2013
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11/07/2013

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(Continued)
2013 CONSTITUTIONALBALLOT GUIDE
 Text
TXBALLOT
to
30644
to get this guide onyour mobile phone, or print this out and take itwith you to the polls.
Remember to vote all the way down the ballot!
CONSTITUTIONAL PROP 1
 VOTE YES
Homestead Exemption for Spouseof Veteran Killed in Action
CONSTITUTIONAL PROP 2
 VOTE YES
Eliminate the State MedicalEducation Board
CONSTITUTIONAL PROP 3
 VOTE NO
Exempt Aircraft Part StorageFacilities from Taxes
CONSTITUTIONAL PROP 4
 VOTE YES
Homestead Exemption for HomesDonated to Disabled Veterans
CONSTITUTIONAL PROP 5
Allow Reverse Mortgage Loans forHomestead Purchases
 VOTE YES
CONSTITUTIONAL PROP 6
Transfer $2 billion to State WaterFund from Rainy Day Fund
 VOTE YES
CONSTITUTIONAL PROP 7
 VOTE YES
Cities Can Fill Govt Vacancies byAppointment Instead of Elections
CONSTITUTIONAL PROP 8
Repeal Law so Hidalgo County CanCreate a Hospital District
 VOTE YES
CONSTITUTIONAL PROP 9
Increase Sanctions Against JudgesWho Engage in Misconduct
 VOTE YES
 
CONTINUE TO NEXT PAGE FOR DETAILED ANALYSIS ON ALL THE PROPOSITIONS
 Voting is our right, but it’s not one that Texans exercise nearly enough. In the last three constitutional amendment elections in Texas - 2007, 2009, and 2011 - only 5-8% of registered voters cast their ballots. That’s (sadly) about what you’d expect froma state that ranks last in the nation in voter turnout, and that’s even before our state’s new voter ID law went into effect.Fortunately, we can change all of that this election season. As LBJ would say, “Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrowis ours to win or lose.” Go win the future - take this voter guide to the polls and show off that “I Voted” sticker to your friends,family and co-workers this week. Remember to visit www.GotIDTexas.org to make sure you have the ID you need to vote.
Progress Texas recommends to vote YES on all Constitutional Amendments except Proposition 3.
GOT ID TEXAS?
Voting is our right. Make sure you have what you need to vote.www.GotIDTexas.org
 
Be an informed voter! Text
TRAVIS
to
30644
to get this guide on your mobile phone, or print this out and take it with you to the polls.
 
2013 BALLOT GUIDE
(PAGE 2)
DETAILED PROPOSITION INFORMATION
(Continued)
PROPOSITION 1
Ofcial Text: The constitutional amendment authorizing
the legislature to provide for an exemption from advalorem taxation of all or part of the market value of
the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of amember of the armed services of the United States whois killed in action.
In 2007, Texas voters approved a constitutional amendmentgranting homestead exemptions to disabled veterans. In2011, that was extended to the surviving spouses of disabledveterans. Prop 1 continues Texas’ commitment to veteransand their families by extending the exemption to survivingspouses of those who are killed in action. The exemptionexists in perpetuity until the spouse is remarried; should thespouse move and not remarry, the original amount of thehomestead exemption is applied to the new homestead.Estimates are the exemption would only cost the state of  Texas approximately $49,000 a year. While we generally donot support open-ended tax exemptions, this low-cost andcompassionate proposal can make a real difference in afamily’s life. Still, the Legislature should plan on reviewing thecost of this tax exemption in coming sessions to measure itsongoing effectiveness and need.
PROPOSITION 2
Ofcial Text: The constitutional amendment eliminatingan obsolete requirement for a State Medical EducationBoard and a State Medical Education Fund, neither ofwhich is operational.
 The State Medical Education Board and State MedicalEducation Fund have been defunct for over 20 years.Originally, their intent was to help recruit and pay loans fordoctors willing to practice in rural Texas. Other student
loan programs now exist that are more efcient. In 2011,
Democrat State Representative Garnet Coleman passeda law that allowed rural hospitals to directly hire doctors,helping alleviate staff shortages. With no staff, funding, orpurpose, formally abolishing the State Medical EducationBoard is an obvious decision.
PROPOSITION 3
Ofcial Text: The constitutional amendment to authorizea political subdivision of this state to extend the number of days that aircraft parts that are exempt from advalorem 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.
 The tax cut is specically designed for an aircraft parts
company, Aviall, which is a company within Boeingheadquartered in the Dallas area. Aviall is a billion-dollarcorporation that currently employs over 800 workers, and isthreatening to move unless they get the tax cut they want. Texas is one of 11 states to tax certain inventory; in Texas,inventory becomes taxed once it has been warehoused over175 days.Local districts that approve the tax break will redirect moneyfor schools to aircraft parts companies. Local taxes will likelyhave to increase to make up the difference. Aviall shouldn’tthreaten the livelihoods of hundreds of hard-working Texans just so they can get a tax break they’ve never needed before. Voters should reject Prop 3.
PROPOSITION 4
Ofcial Text: The constitutional amendment authorizing
the legislature to provide for an exemption from advalorem 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 disabledveteran by a charitable organization.
Occasionally, a charity will donate a home to a disabledveteran that could not afford a place to live. Prop 4 will granta partial exemption of the taxes that would need to be paidby the disabled veteran receiving the gift.We generally do not support open-ended tax exemptions,though we will make an exception – as we did for Prop 1 –for this compassionate and low-cost proposal. However, taxexemptions should have a sunset provision to review theireffectiveness and cost to the state. The Legislature shouldplan on reviewing the cost of this tax exemption in comingsessions to measure its ongoing effectiveness and need.
PROPOSITION 5
Ofcial Text: The constitutional amendment to authorizethe making of a reverse mortgage loan for the purchaseof homestead property and to amend lender disclosuresand other requirements in connection with a reverse
mortgage loan.
Prop 5 gives Texans over the age of 62 the option of usinga reverse mortgage loan to buy a new home. Currently, if asenior wants to move – to a smaller home, to be closer to thekids, or to a community closer to medical care – he or shemust go through the full process of selling their old home andbuying a new one, including all the closing costs associated.
 
Be an informed voter! Text
TRAVIS
to
30644
to get this guide on your mobile phone, or print this out and take it with you to the polls.
 
Prop 5 would make it easier for seniors to nance new home
purchases while enshrining protections for homebuyers:all reverse mortgages would be regulated and overseen by
the federal government through HUD, nancial counseling
must be completed before the mortgage is closed, and a
notication of all the terms of the mortgage must be given to
the borrower 12 days prior to the start of the loan.In the last sixteen years, Texans have amended this particular
section of the state constitution four times. The fth time
should be for Prop 5, which creates a new, helpful option forseniors wanting to purchase a home.
PROPOSITION 6
Ofcial Text: The constitutional amendment providingfor the creation of the State Water Implementation Fundfor Texas and the State Water Implementation RevenueFund for Texas to assist in the nancing of priorityprojects in the state water plan to ensure the availabilityof adequate water resources.
 The most important thing Texans can do to help alleviate the
horric drought conditions in our state is to conserve more
water. Reducing water use for lawns, showers, dishwashing,and laundry are individual challenges we should accept.Developing and investing in energy resources that use lesswater – like wind and solar – are statewide challenges we
should push elected ofcials to embrace. Conservation is the
best way to reduce the harmful impacts of the Texas drought.On Election Day, there is a little more voters can do: supportProp 6 because it is an essential investment in the future of  Texas. Prop 6 creates two investment funds for the state’swater plan, allowing a one-time state investment in statedollars to go towards a revolving loan program for localgovernments. Prop 6 will draw down $2 billion from thestate’s Rainy Day Fund for the investment.Conservatives in charge of the Texas Legislature should bemaking equal if not greater investments in education, healthcare, and transportation. As we wait for those issues to cometo the ballot, however, voters should pass Prop 6 and helpalleviate drought conditions in the state.
PROPOSITION 7
Ofcial Text: The constitutional amendment authorizinga home-rule municipality to provide in its charter theprocedure to ll a vacancy on its governing body for which the unexpired term is 12 months or less.
Prop 7 allows local voters to decide how a vacancy for a
city council seat in their community should be lled – either
by a special election or by an appointment. Most localcommunities host an election; however, there are concerns
about the cost of an election that would only ll a seat for 12
months or less. Another option, which Prop 7 proposes andwould have to be approved by local voters, would be for the
seat to be lled by an appointment.
While we do not believe appointments should replaceelections, the issue is ultimately a local one and individuals inthe community should be able to make the decision for whatworks best for their area.
PROPOSITION 8
Ofcial Text: The constitutional amendment repealingSection 7, Article IX, Texas Constitution, which relates tothe creation of a hospital district in Hidalgo County.
Prop 8 xes an outdated section of the Texas Constitution so
that Hidalgo County, in the Rio Grande Valley, can affordablycreate a hospital district. Currently, most counties in Texascan tax up to $0.75 per $100 of taxable property in order tocollect money for a hospital district. Hidalgo County is maxed
out at $0.10 per $100. Local ofcials throughout Hidalgo
County support Prop 8 because it allows them to ask fora slight increase in local taxes in order to support a much-needed hospital district in their community.
PROPOSITION 9
Ofcial Text: The constitutional amendment relating toexpanding the types of sanctions that may be assessedagainst a judge or justice following a formal proceedinginstituted by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
Judges should be held accountable for their misconduct.Once a formal hearing of judicial misconduct begins, a judgecan only get a private slap on the wrist. Prop 9 expands theconsequences to sanction the judge with public admonition,warning, reprimand, and/or require the judge or justice toobtain training or education.
2013 BALLOT GUIDE
(PAGE 3)
DETAILED PROPOSITION INFORMATION

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