Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My take on the constitutional amendments

Proposition 1: It's not the responsibility of homeowners to subsidize military sprawl and force cities and towns to take on additional debt that could increase property taxes. I'm voting No.

Proposition 2: To be honest, I'm not sure what this proposition will do, but political associates in Austin tell me that it could wind up lowering property taxes bases and for that reason I'm voting No.

Proposition 3: This is a no-brainer. The proposition would remove the enforcement of appraisal standards from counties and put them under statewide supervision, which would shift along with the prevailing political winds. It could also force residents to travel long distances to protest appraisals. A big No on this from me.

Proposition 4: Another no-brainer--a proposition that could positively effect Texas education and the state's economy. It would direct funds towards universities trying to become Tier 1 universities. This could attract leading researchers to our state, especially to institutions like UT-Arlington or UT-El Paso, where they are needed. It will also allow Texas students to reach higher levels of educational achievement. Plus it will come from money the state already has. Gov. Hair is campaigning against this saying the private sector should supply all the innovation Texas needs (and then he rejects clean energy businesses to make sure we never get this innovation). I'm voting a solid YES.

Proposition 5: Allows adjoining counties to form joint appraisal districts. This proposition doesn't really effect me (Dallas County won't be consolidating with a neighbor), but I'm thinking it's important enough in rural areas that I'm going to vote Yes.

Proposition 6: We must keep our promises to our veterans and a proposition that will continue to allow them to buy homes is going to get a Yes vote from me.

Proposition 7: The state constitution prohibits individuals from holding more than one compensated position with the state, but I see no harm in allowing members of the State Guard to hold a civil office so I'm voting Yes on this one.

Proposition 8 would provide much-needed medical care to 1.7 million veterans living in Texas, one-third of whom are denied care because they live too far from a veterans hospital. Another no-brainer. Yes.

Proposition 9 will protect the right of every Texan to spread their towel and relax on a beach. Who could possibly be against this? (OK, some homeowners who are seeing their beachfront properties being reduced by erosion.) Still I'm for open beaches so I'm voting Yes.

Proposition 11: This is another complicated one dealing with eminent domain. But what made me decide to vote No on this one came when Gov. Hair, who strongly supports it, was asked if it would prevent the seizure of land for another Trans-Texas Corridor and he refused to answer the question.

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