-by Barbara Harless
• Texas population: 26 million
• Registered Voters in Texas: 13,445,285
• Nov 5, 2013; 9 Proposed Amendments to the Texas Constitution – 8.5% of registered voters showed up to vote (1,144,844)
• Less than 1 million voters in Texas amended the Texas Constitution.
Good News / Bad News
Good News: 3% more voters showed up in 2013 to vote on Amendments to the Texas Constitution than did in 2011 (almost double the 2011 showing)
Bad News: Less than 1 million voters amended our Texas Constitution this week
More Bad News: In November of next year (2014) there will be another proposed amendment on the Texas ballot. This one Continue reading
This article is offering a taxpayer’s view of the intended and unintended consequences of the efforts of our noble Austin legislators.
First, one must read the proposed legislation because the brief explanatory statement of the nature of each proposed amendment listed on the ballot is not even close to addressing what is in the amendment. If a proposed amendment has enabling legislation (many do), the details of the amendment with taxing authority, penalties for violations, and other changes/additions to other state statutes may be found there. In short, you have to read the amendment/enabling bill to find out what’s in it and often times we have to pass the amendment/bill to find out what’s in it. On some of the proposed amendments, the enabling legislation is silent (deficient) in certain areas. Where there is silence in the enabling legislation, once the amendment is passed then it may be up to the courts to decide the intent of the author(s) of the amendment and enabling legislation. This is unfortunate but true.
Second, one should understand the Purpose and Consequences of laws.
Third, one should put each proposed amendment to the 3 question test of “constitutionality”.
Fourth, if one finds Continue reading