Senator Glenn Hegar Reminds Texans of Voter Registration Deadline for Proposed Texas Constitutional Amendments Election
AUSTIN---State Senator Glenn Hegar announced today that the deadline to register to vote in the state's proposed constitutional amendments election is October 5, 2009. The election will take place on November 3, 2009.
In typical Texas fashion, most things are either bigger or better in the state we all love to call home. The Texas Constitution is ironically recognized as one of the largest constitutions in the nation. All of the state's operations rely upon this document, even though the Texas Constitution dates back to 1876, because unlike the vast majority of other states, Texas only gives its government those powers expressly granted to it by the Constitution.
Frequently, I am asked why so many amendments are proposed every few years. In large part, the answer is that our Constitution was designed to be very restrictive. Business and technological changes over the last 131 years in Texas history also explain why our state's Constitution has changed every few years as well. From its adoption in 1876 through November 2007, the legislature has proposed 635 amendments to the Texas Constitution and 632 have gone before Texas voters. Of the amendments on the ballot, 456 have been approved and 176 have been defeated. Three additional amendments never made it to the ballot for reasons that are historically obscure.
On November 3rd of this year, Texas voters will have the opportunity to vote for or against each of the eleven proposed constitutional amendments approved by the 81st Texas Legislature. I strongly encourage each and every Texas voter to take the time to review the amendments and go vote. Additionally, as your State Senator, I voted in favor of all eleven proposed amendments as they came before me in the Texas Senate. Nevertheless, I ask that each of you take the time to educate yourselves and vote your beliefs on November 3, 2009.
I hope the information provided will help you determine your own vote. If you have additional questions on these important amendments to our state's Constitution, I ask that you call or email my staff and me. Furthermore, below is a listing of the eleven proposed constitutional amendments, as they will appear on the November 3rd ballot. I will issue a more detailed description of each of the proposed constitutional amendments as we get closer to Election Day.
"The constitutional amendment authorizing the financing, including through tax increment financing, of the acquisition by municipalities and counties of buffer areas or open spaces adjacent to a military installation for the prevention of encroachment or for the construction of roadways, utilities, or other infrastructure to protect or promote the mission of the military installation."
"The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for the ad valorem taxation of a residence homestead solely on the basis of the property's value as a residence homestead."
"The constitutional amendment providing for uniform standards and procedures for the appraisal of property for ad valorem tax purposes."
"The constitutional amendment establishing the national research university fund to enable emerging research universities in this state to achieve national prominence as major research universities and transferring the balance of the higher education fund to the national research university fund."
"The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to authorize a single board of equalization for two or more adjoining appraisal entities that elect to provide for consolidated equalizations."
"The constitutional amendment authorizing the Veterans' Land Board to issue general obligation bonds in amounts equal to or less than amounts previously authorized."
"The constitutional amendment to allow an officer or enlisted member of the Texas State Guard or other state militia or military force to hold other civil offices."
"The constitutional amendment authorizing the state to contribute money, property, and other resources for the establishment, maintenance, and operation of veterans' hospitals in this state."
"The constitutional amendment to protect the right of the public, individually and collectively, to access and use the public beaches bordering the seaward shore of the Gulf of Mexico."
"The constitutional amendment to provide that elected members of the governing boards of emergency services districts may serve terms not to exceed four years."
"The constitutional amendment to prohibit the taking, damaging, or destroying of private property for public use unless the action is for the ownership, use, and enjoyment of the property by the State, a political subdivision of the State, the public at large, or entities granted the power of eminent domain under law or for the elimination of urban blight on a particular parcel of property, but not for certain economic development or enhancement of tax revenue purposes, and to limit the legislature's authority to grant the power of eminent domain to an entity."
Individuals who have yet to register may obtain an application from many county offices, post offices and libraries or may download an application from the VOTEXAS.org website. A person may also check their registration status on this website, or by calling the Secretary of State's voter hotline at 1-800-252-VOTE (8683). Finally, to obtain more information on the proposed amendments you may visit www.tlc.state.tx.us/pubsconamend/analyses09/analyses09.pdf.
Senator Hegar served two terms in the Texas House of Representatives and now represents Senate District 18 in the Texas Senate. He is a sixth generation Texan, and earns a living farming rice and corn on land that has been in his family since the mid 1800's. He currently resides in Katy, Texas with his wife Dara, and their three children, Claire, Julia, and Jonah.