They call them “off-year elections” and that’s what Rockdale and Milam County voters are facing now (early voting began Monday) and on Nov. 8.
There are 10 proposed amendments to the Texas Constitution this year. For a full, non-partisan discussion of what they are all about, with the way the amendments will be listed on the ballot, a great website is the League of Women Voters of Texas, www.lwvtexas.org.
What do they mean? Here’s a brief synopsis of what this off-year election’s crop of amendments are all about:
No. 1—Would let the legislature give a property tax exemption to the surviving spouse of a totally disabled veteran if appropriate conditions have been met.
No. 2—Raises the bonding capacity of the Texas Water Development Board from the current $2 billion to $6 billion.
No. 3—Authorizes additional bonds to be issued in support of the Texas College Student Loan Program.
No. 4—Would allow the legislature to use a mechanism called “tax increment financing” to finance development, or redevelopment of underproductive, undeveloped or blighted areas.
No. 5—Extends the interlocal contract time period cities and counties may enter into with each other past the current one year.
No. 6—Provides for potential increases in distributions from the state’s Permanent School Fund (PSF) to the Available School Fund (ASF).
No. 7—Adds El Paso County to the list of counties authorized to create conservation-reclamation districts which can issue bonds and levy taxes.
No. 8—Adds a “water stewardship valuation” option to land already appraised for open land use.
No. 9—Authorizes the pardon option for successfully completed deferred adjudication cases.
No. 10—Extends the “unexpired term” time period during which office holders must resign if they announce plans to seek a new office at the next election.—M.B.