Pros & Cons of the Nov. 5 Constitutional Amendment Election

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This link will take you to the 2013 Constitutional Amendments – pros & cons.

Your choice is simple; be a part of the solution by voting, or you can sit at home and complain about the outcome of the election.

Early voting started today, October 21, 2013.

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6 responses

  1. Senator_Blutarsky | Reply

    From WeTexans.com-

    With all the recent focus on the government shutdown, many will miss the fact that there is also an election just days away, early voting starts Monday and will run through Friday, November 1. Texas voters will decide on nine amendments to the Texas Constitution. View a sample ballot here The Texas Constitution is a large and complex document because it is rare that constitutional amendments fail at the ballot box.

    With this in mind it is important to point out that these amendments are often the means of saddling Texans with debt. Texas taxpayers already find ourselves with the 2nd highest local debt burden in the country. Yet elected officials still don’t seem to get the idea that citizens are tired of the runaway spending that fails to pay as we go. We must live within our means and should not be increasing our debt!

    Consequently, We Texans urges voters to “just say no” to most of this ballot. Yes, that’s right, since four of the nine propositions call for shifting of or increases in government spending or tax burden, we are recommending that you vote “against” them; two others, prop 5 and 7, in our view, also warrant votes “against”. Propositions 2, 8 and 9 are the exceptions for which we can support a “for” vote.

    Here’s why:

    Proposition 1: Provides a property tax exemption for surviving spouses of certain service members. Read the legislation here (HRJ 62)

    While the property tax is a fundamentally flawed means of funding local government that we are working to completely eliminate, it is the method that is used in Texas today. Though well intended, this proposition adds yet another exemption to the long list of property tax-outs and distorts justice by shifting the cost of local government to the shoulders of others in the community. We Texans recommends voting “against” this proposition.

    Proposition 2: Removing provisions for the State Medical Education Board. Read the legislation here (HJR 79)

    This proposal would remove constitutional authorization for the State Medical Education Board and the State Medical Education Fund by repealing Texas Constitution Art. 3, sec. 50a. The Board is inactive as the functions of the Board have been transferred to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Office of the Attorney General. The Sunset Advisory Commission recommended the Board be eliminated way back in 1988; we’re finally getting around to doing that. We Texans recommends voting “for” this proposition.

    Proposition 3: Allowing extension of exemption from inventory taxes for aircraft parts Read the legislation here (HJR 133)

    Again, while we wholeheartedly agree property and inventory taxes should be eliminated, they are currently the means for financing local governments and public education. Providing this exemption shifts the burden from the effected industries to the shoulders of others in that same community. Taxes must be equitably and justly distributed. Singling out one group for a tax exemption, even for a meritorious purpose, raises issues of uniformity in taxation. We Texans recommends voting “against” this proposition.

    Proposition 4: Tax exemption for disabled veterans whose homesteads were donated by a charity. Read the legislation here (HJR 24)

    While the property tax is a fundamentally flawed means of funding local government that we are working to completely eliminate, it is the method that is used in Texas today. Though well intended, this proposition adds yet another exemption to the long list of property tax-outs and distorts justice by shifting the cost of local government to the shoulders of others in the community. We Texans recommends voting “against” this proposition.

    Proposition 5: Authorizes a reverse mortgage loan for the purchase of homestead property. Read the legislation here (SJR 18)

    Texans have rightly been skeptical of creative lending schemes especially when it comes to financing homes. Loosening restrictions on reverse mortgages would make Texans more vulnerable to being upside down in their homes, having greater debt than equity. We Texans recommends voting “against” this proposition.

    Proposition 6: Creating funds to assist in the financing of priority projects in the state water plan. Read the legislation here (SJR 1)

    This proposal would create the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas and the State Water Implementation Revenue Fund for Texas removing $2 billion from the Rainy Day fund and placing it outside the general revenue in this quasi-investment bank overseen by the appointed three-member Texas Water Development Board. Claims about the purpose of the fund are misleading. The fund can not be used to finance state water plan projects. These funds can only be use to provide additional security in the form of debt service, deferred loan structure or credit enhancement on projects already supported by Texas Water Development Bonds. Texas voters authorized $6 billion in revolving bond authority in 2011 none of which has been issued or utilized. These new funds would provide additional incentive to local governments to utilize these bonds (i.e., loans, taking on more debt) by providing a reduction in the interest due on the loan. Local governments generally already have sufficient credit ratings to complete projects without financial assistance from the state. Further, since water rights and development occur at the local and regional level and there are few processes in place to prioritize water projects across the state, there is little guarantee the funds will be directed towards the most critical projects. We Texans recommends voting “against” this proposition.

    Proposition 7: Allowing home-rule cities to decide how to fill vacant seats. Read the legislation here (HJR 87)

    The proposal would allow home-rule cities (cities with a population of more than 5,000 that have adopted a home-rule charter) to amend their charter to allow filling vacancies on the governing body by appointment rather than by election as is currently required. Cities argue that filling vacancies by special election within 120 days after the start of a vacancy, as is currently required, is costly. The proposal would, however, likely provide incentive for early resignation so appointments could be made thereby giving newly appointed members an advantage in any subsequent election. The cost of a special election in the rare occurrence of a vacancy is a small price to pay to ensure accountability in city government. We Texans recommends voting “against” this proposition.

    Proposition 8: Repealing the provision authorizing a hospital district in Hidalgo County. Read the legislation here (HJR 147)

    The proposal would correct a constitutional discrepancy that limits the maximum tax rate in Hidalgo County hospital districts to 10 cents while hospital districts in other counties are limited to maximum tax rates of 75 cents. Hidalgo County residents would be allowed to create new hospital districts under the conditions available to other counties. We Texans recommends voting “for” this proposition.

    Proposition 9: Expanding the State Commission on Judicial Conduct’s sanctioning authority. Read the legislation here (SJR 42)

    This provision would expand the current authority after a formal hearing to allow the commission to issue a public admonition, warning or reprimand or require a judge or justice to obtain training or education. We Texans recommends voting “for” on this proposition.

    The Constitution has been amended hundreds of times, and when voters are asked to tack on yet another law, most of the time they say ‘Yes.” This is a good year to say “No” to many of these proposals.

    We Texans continues to engage in policy work in areas dear to freedom loving Texans: private property, gun ownership, state sovereignty and tax and fiscal policy. You can be a part of the work that we do by committing to regularly fund our efforts. If you have not already done so, I hope you will consider becoming a member today. Attention on political work seems to wane between legislative sessions but as the Speaker of the House recently pointed out, the blue print for the next legislative session is being crafted NOW. We can’t afford to slack off. We’ll be in Austin often and we’ll be working to help draft legislation that addresses these key policy areas. Your donation of $50, $100 or $250 helps fund our work. If you are able, we would be very appreciative of your generous contribution.

    And please, remember to vote and be sure to encourage your family and friends to review the issues and then cast their vote. With your help, we can defeat these ill-conceived proposals and slow the growth of government in Texas.

  2. Lenny,

    I disagree with Phyllis’s comments on Article V. She is gravely mistaken and right away her misinterpretation of Article V in her piece has caused me to reconsider the value of the rest of the items presented in the Oct volume of the Texas Eagle Forum Torch.

    First, is she a Constitutional Lawyer? If not does she have a law degree or legal background? If not has she asked the professional advice of someone who is a lawyer regarding their legal interpretation of Article V? I will tell you that I’ll bet the answer to all three of those questions is “no”.

    Assuming my presumption that the answer is [no] to my preceding questions- then it would probably be reasonable to assume she is relying on her own reading and interpretation of Article V. I would think that a person with her political standing in the Party would want to safeguard their credibility by ensuring the information they put out to other members of the Party is accurate. This is why our Party is in such disarray today because you have folks like Phyllis espousing their own personal viewpoints on matters they have not properly research or don’t fully comprehend.

    Phyllis needs to grab a copy of Mark Levin’s “Liberty Amendments” and read up on Mark’s interpretation of it [Article V]. Mark is a renowned Constitutional Lawyer and former DOJ advisor to President Reagan.

    I have the book [Liberty Amendments] so let me take a moment and directly quote Mr. Levin as he provides legal definition to Article V of the Constitution.

    “Article V sets forth the two processes for amending the Constitution, the second of which I have emphasized in italics:

    The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several Sates or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress….

    Importantly, in neither case does the Article V amendment process provide for a constitutional convention. It provides for two methods of amending the Constitution. The first method, where two-thirds of Congress passes a proposed amendment and then forwards it to the state legislatures for possible ratification by three-fourths of the states, has occurred on twenty-seven occasions. The second method, involving the direct application of two-thirds of the state legislatures for a Convention for proposing Amendments, which would thereafter also require a three-fourths ratification vote by the states, has been tried in the past but without success. Today it sits dormant.

    The fact is that Article V expressly grants state legislatures significant authority to rebalance the constitutional structure for the purpose of restoring our founding principles should the federal government shed its limitations, abandon its original purpose, and grow too powerful, as many delegates in Philadelphia and the state conventions had worried it might.

    The text of Article V makes clear that there is a serious check in place. Whether the product of Congress or a convention, a proposed amendment has no effect at all unless ‘ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States or by Convention in three-fourths thereof….’ This should extinguish anxiety that the state convention process could hijack the Constitution.” – The Liberty Amendments by Mark Levin, pgs 12 & 15.

    See below link to Mark’s book and read the first 20 pages http://www.amazon.com/dp/1451606273/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=32563381158&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=764399306246136604&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_4jhmgsctx4_e

    I can tell you that I am a proponent of the Article V process and I believe it is the only way were are going to be able to restore our Constitutional Republic. I will not allow the misinterpretations of folks like Phyllis to derail that mission.

    1. For those of you wondering what I am referring of above…I am speaking of the piece written by Phyllis Schlafly entitled Is An Article V Convention in our Future?

      1. This link will take you to the October addition of the Texas Eagle Forum Torch and Phillis’s article entitled Is An Article V Convention in our Future?

        https://parkercountyblog.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/2013-constitutional-amendments-pros-cons.pdf

      2. What others are doing regarding a Convention of the States. See link http://conventionofstates.com/news/stopping-locomotive

  3. Senator_Blutarsky | Reply

    Phil Kings Water SCAM exposed –

    Public drain for private gain: Prop 6 rural water raid to benefit developers-

    ” Naturally, lawmakers realize how this would look on the ballot alongside a $2 billion raid for water projects so soon after asking for a $6 billion water loan program just two years ago. Perhaps they’re counting on the short memory of most voters or counting on low information voters to buy into the scare tactics and frightening photos of bone dry lakes courtesy of Water Texas, PAC (funded by Speaker Joe Straus’ cronies), trying to convince voters that unless they pass this amendment the state will run out of water. ”

    read the full expose` here –

    http://www.examiner.com/article/public-drain-for-private-gain-prop-6-rural-water-raid-to-benefit-developers-no?utm_source=SATP+-+October+19%2C+2013&utm_campaign=ZAP%3A+Cintra%27s+tollway+given+junk+bond+status&utm_medium=email

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