On Tuesday, November 2, 2023, Texas voters had another opportunity to vote. This time, it wasn’t just candidates on the ballot; they had the choice of changing their constitution in 14 different ways.
In the end, they chose to do so 13 times. 13 new provisions of the constitution were amended. Only one escaped their passionate desire for change and growth.
Texans Rejected an Increase in the Mandatory Retirement Age for State Judges
Of the 14 propositions on the table; only Proposition 13 failed to catch the eyes of voters. The unlucky proposition was the “constitutional amendment to increase the mandatory age of retirement for state justices and judges.”
If voted in, this amendment would have taken the minimum retirement age for state justices from 70 to 75. It would also have raised the maximum age from 75 to 79.
Texans Voted to Ease the Burdens of Child Care Facilities
Under Proposition 2, Texans revised the Constitution, granting “exemption from ad valorem taxation by a county or municipality of all or part of the appraised value of real property used to operate a child-care facility.”
This means that the property tax burdens of childcare facilities will be eased. These facilities can now, in turn, provide subsidized services to children who need their help.
Texans Ended the Net Worth Tax
Proposition 3 aims to stop “the imposition of an individual wealth or net worth tax, including a tax on the difference between the assets and liabilities of an individual or family.”
Texans have approved this amendment to end the “tax the rich” policy. The state aims to strengthen its position as a financial paradise by removing the foundation for a net worth tax.
Proposition 3 Will Entice Financial Heavyweights
Just like in 2021, when it lured Elon Musk to relocate Tesla’s headquarters from California, Texans want to host more wealthy corporations.
Most importantly, the state seeks to create an atmosphere of financial freedom.
Proposition 4 intends to make the Lone Star State more desirable for investment. This is what brought Tesla. While leaving California, Elon Musk had complained about its “overregulation, overlitigation, [and] over taxation.”
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Texans Voted for More Research Funding for Their Universities
64% of Texas voters approved the introduction of Proposition 5. The proposition “provides funding to certain institutions of higher education to achieve national prominence as major research universities.”
In essence, the amendment authorized the state government to set up the Texas University Fund. This fund will boost the research capabilities of Texas universities with $3.9 billion.
78% of Texas voters Said “Yes” to a Water Fund
Texans voted 78% to 22% in favor of Proposition 6, which will create a water fund. This fund will be managed and administered by the Texas Water Development Board.
The fund will sponsor a wide range of projects to ensure a stable and efficient water supply across the state. The board will look for additional water sources and fix damaged water supply facilities.
Companies Will Receive Incentives for Energy Projects
Texans has always been big on energy. But Texans want to go even bigger. Proposition 7, which was approved by 65% of voters will give the state some added boost in terms of energy.
This proposition will create an energy fund to support companies in the energy sector with loans and grants. This fund will give a helping hand to companies who intend to build power plants.
Texas Will Expand Internet Access
Proposition 8, approved by 69% of voters, aims to expand Internet access. About 7 million Texas residents lack access to the internet. These residents will have a better life pretty soon.
The proposition authorizes the creation of a Broadband Infrastructure Fund with $1.5 billion. The fund will “expand high-speed broadband access and assist in the financing of connectivity projects.”
Voters Want Increased Pension for Retired Teachers
In what saw the highest approval percentage in the polls, support for Proposition 9 was pretty overwhelming. 84% of Texans approved this amendment, which will provide a cost of living adjustment to the teacher retirement package. Texas retired teachers haven’t gotten a cost of living raise in 19 years.
This change is coming on the heels of protests by retirees at the Capitol. The Texas American Federation of Teachers also clamored for the increment after revealing that an average teacher retiree got only $2,200 per month.
State Parks Will Get a Face Lift
The polls also showed that Texans are unhappy with the condition of their state parks. 76% of voters approved while 24% said “No” to the creation of a centennial parks conservation fund.
This fund will spend $1 billion on various efforts and projects to improve state parks. The fund, as captured in Proposition 14, will also create new parks while expanding and renovating the existing ones.
Texans Can Expect a Better Life
Amendments to the Constitution are usually the first step to most major reforms. To effect these changes, two-thirds of the legislators must first vote to pass the resolution for a new constitutional proposition. Next comes the actual voting.
The people of Texas have scaled these hurdles and made their stand known. The ball is in the court of government officials to implement the new changes. Texans expect to see good results in their communities as soon as possible.
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