Eight proposed constitutional amendments on Nov. 2 ballot
They are not “permanent” but they’re not easy to repeal once they’re enacted
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - More than 500 voters made it out to the polls on Monday for the first day of early voting in Lubbock County. Special elections like this November’s are usually known for low voter turnout. But constitutional amendments aren’t something to scoff at.
“It’s probably more important than electing a person because it’s fundamentally changing the rules in which we operate,” Lubbock State Senator Charles Perry said.
In addition to a few local items, such as a $174 million bond to repair Lubbock city streets and a property tax rate increase for Lubbock County residents, there are eight new propositions that would change the state’s constitution. They range from closing unintended loopholes of existing legislation to creating new protections based on experiences during the pandemic.
That includes proposition 3, which intends to restrict the state from preventing or limiting religious services, as Gov. Abbott mandated no large gatherings, including churches and other places of worship, during the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, proposition 6 would guarantee at least one visitor in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, deemed “an essential caregiver”; Another hot-button issue for Texans over the past year and a half.
“During COVID those were things that we got calls daily on,” Sen. Perry explained.
Proposition 8 fixes an unintended consequence established by an earlier version of a law that exempts widowed spouses of armed services members from certain property taxes. The proposed amendment expands the definition of who qualifies.
“We had a military exemption... but it didn’t clarify [what] ‘not killed in action’ meant. If you’re on duty at Killeen and you get killed in an exercise for our military that would not have been in our exemption,” Perry said. “So it’s just little things that you didn’t realize you didn’t close the door on when the law was made.”
You can read a full explanation on each amendment on the Texas Secretary of State’s website.
The non-profit League of Women Voters of Texas also has more information, including arguments for and against each proposition.
Senator Perry encourages everyone to do their research and vote, especially this year.
“The idea that I’m too busy or I just don’t know what that is, is not a good excuse to not participate in the democracy. It’s dependent on an engaged, informed, educated voter base to stay alive,” he said.
The polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. until Oct. 29 for early voting.
To find a list of all locations, you can check votelubbock.org.
Election Day is November 2.
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