Texas Constitutional Amendments
Prop 1: Allows persons to serve as more than one appointed or elected municipal judge. Recommendation: For, it is a shame that there are not enough willing citizens to serve their communities as a municipal judge, an all too important position in our communities. While we would like for judges to serve only one position, we must have our judgeships filled to serve the community.
Prop 2: Allows the Texas Water Development Board to issue up to $200 million in bonds. Recommendation: For; The programs by the TWDB support people in rural and low-income communities by continuing to provide clean water. Clean water should be a right for all Americans.
Prop 3: Authorizes temporary property tax exemption for disaster areas. Recommendation: For; when disaster strikes a community the last thing families in crisis should be worried about is property taxes.
Prop 4: Prohibits the state from levying an income tax on individuals. Recommendation: Against; while no one likes new taxes it is extremely short-sighted to completely ban a revenue option without considering what Texans might need in the future. While an income tax might not work now, who’s to say in 10, 20, or even 50 years from now? State law already makes it so you would need a constitutional amendment and a vote to start an income tax, that could then only be used for projects like education. Banning the possibility of an income tax can hurt future Texans, while this proposition failing keeps the status quo, no income tax.
Prop 5: Dedicates revenue from the sales tax on sporting goods to parks, wildlife, and historical agencies. Recommendation: For; This proposition creates no new taxes, it only redirects tax revenue from the general fund to better protect and conserve our natural and historical treasures.
Prop 6: Authorizes the legislature to increase bonds for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute. Recommendation: For; this proposition allows for greater resources for cancer research, treatment, and prevention.
Prop 7: Increases distributions to the state school fund. Recommendation: For; I will admit, as a teacher I am a little biased on this one, but our public schools deserve the resources available. There are no new taxes or taxpayer burdens, this proposition would simply increase the amount of money allowed to transfer from the Permanent School Fund (the investment portfolio) to the Available School Fund (money to be given to districts and schools for educational needs).
Prop 8: Creates a Flood Infrastructure Fund. Recommendation: For; we’ve all seen how devastating floods in our area can be. Whether it’s here in Austin or our neighbors who receive the brunt of hurricanes, we need to take better care of our neighbors and ourselves when it comes to recovering from and protecting against floods.
Prop 9: Authorizes property tax exemption for precious metals held in depositories. Recommendation: Against; while the construction of the “Texas Bullion Depository” would add jobs for our friends in Williamson County, why it’s being built is the issue. One of the major issues in our country is the hoarding of wealth. This proposition encourages the hoarding of wealth and natural resources instead of responsible use for the benefit of our communities and families.
Prop 10: Allows for transfer of law enforcement animals to handlers or others if in animal’s best interest. Recommendation: For; the bonds built between law enforcement officers and working animals can be strong life long bonds. It is best for the welfare of the animal if they are given to the people they are most accustomed to once they have finished serving their communities.
Travis County Proposition A
Recommendation: For. This prop will energize the County Expo Center and help it make improvements so that the needs of users (such as the Austin Rodeo) can be better served in bringing jobs, opportunities, and culture to our county.
City of Austin Propositions A and B
Recommendation: Against. These props are not supported by any major business, civic, cultural/artistic organization in the city. These props set up barriers for the new development of community spaces and the expansion of social services such as solutions for homelessness.
Prop A was originally designed to stop the Austin FC Stadium from being built, but even the prop’s initial supporters have stopped supporting it.
Prop B gets rid of newly expanded funding for historic preservation, cultural projects, and programs to help end homelessness. The prop also does not comply with state law, making it a target for being nullified by the courts.
These recommendations are the personal opinions of the Brian Talbot, the Travis County Chair. They do not represent the recommendations or opinions of the Solidarity National Committee, or the American Solidarity Party of Texas