Get ready to vote on November 7, 2023! As we approach the upcoming election to amend the state constitution, it’s important to have the resources to help make the most informed decision that best represents what you value. This article summarizes proposed constitutional amendments, all viewed through the lens of groundwater conservation.
Proposition 1 – Protecting Land Use (HJR 126): secures the right to conduct farming, ranching, timber production, horticulture, and wildlife management on private land. It allows regulation for safety and conservation but doesn’t affect public resource development.
- Affirms property owners’ right to these activities.
- Permits regulation when necessary for safety, animal health, crop production, or natural resource preservation. In summary, H.J.R. No. 126 protects property owners’ rights for specified activities and outlines conditions for regulation.
Proposition 5 – Texas University Fund (HJR 3): While not groundwater-related, this redesignates a fund for higher education and research that could indirectly support water-related educational initiatives.
Proposition 6 – Texas Water Fund (SJR 75) – Vital for Groundwater Conservation! This creates a fund for water projects, managed by the Texas Water Development Board.
- The legislature can allocate money to the fund for transfers to related accounts without further approval.
- The fund can receive money from various sources, including investments, donations, and grants.
- Expenses are covered by the fund itself, and any surplus goes to future authorized purposes.
- The legislature defines fund usage, with 25% initially allocated to the New Water Supply for Texas Fund. In summary, S.J.R. No. 75 establishes a dedicated Texas water fund, outlining funding sources, allocation rules, and administration, with voter approval remaining crucial.
Proposition 7 – Texas Energy Fund (SJR 93): aims to create the Texas energy fund to support electric generating facilities. While not directly tied to groundwater, it addresses energy needs, which can indirectly impact water resource management.
Proposition 8 – Broadband Infrastructure (HJR 125): creates the broadband infrastructure fund to expand high-speed internet access. While not directly related to groundwater, it could enhance communication and data sharing for water conservation programs.
Proposition 13 – State Justices’ Retirement Age (HJR 107):raises the mandatory retirement age for state justices and judges. While not directly related to groundwater, it could affect the legal framework within which water-related issues are adjudicated.
Proposition 14 – Centennial Parks Fund (SJR 74):establishes the centennial parks conservation fund for state parks’ creation and improvement. While not directly tied to groundwater conservation, it supports the preservation of natural resources.
Proposition 2 – Child-care Facilities (SJR 64): allows counties and municipalities to exempt real property used for child-care facilities from property taxation.
Proposition 3 – Wealth Tax Prohibition (HJR 132): prevents the imposition of wealth or net worth taxes on individuals or families.
Proposition 4 – Property Tax Modifications (HJR 2): focuses on property tax changes, including increased homestead exemptions and temporary property value limits.
Proposition 9 – Teacher Retirement Adjustments (HJR 2): authorizes cost-of-living adjustments for eligible annuitants of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
Proposition 10 – Medical Property Tax Exemption (SJR 87): allows the exemption of tangible personal property used by medical or biomedical manufacturers from property taxation.
Proposition 11 – Conservation and Recreation (SJR 32): Expands legislative authority regarding conservation and recreation in El Paso County.
Proposition 12 – (Local Bill) Galveston County Treasurer’s Office (HJR 134): This proposition deals with the abolition of the County Treasurer’s office in Galveston County, with local implications.