Early voting began Oct. 23. and will last until Nov. 3. Plano residents can cast their ballots for or against seven proposed amendments to the Texas constitution. Read the list below for the ballot language and meaning of each amendment:
House Joint Resolution 21
The ballot reads: “The constitutional amendment authorizing the Legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of part of the market value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled veteran or the surviving spouse of a partially disabled veteran if the residence homestead was donated to the disabled veteran by a charitable organization for less than the market value of the residence homestead and harmonizing certain related provisions of the Texas Constitution.”
What it means: This amendment would provide property tax exemptions on homes that were donated to partially disabled veterans—or their surviving spouses—for less than their market values. Currently the Texas Constitution already authorizes property tax exemptions for homes that were donated to partially disabled veterans at no cost to the recipients.
Senate Joint Resolution 60
The ballot reads: “The constitutional amendment to establish a lower amount for expenses that can be charged to a borrower and removing certain financing expense limitations for a home equity loan, establishing certain authorized lenders to make a home equity loan, changing certain options for the refinancing of home equity loans, changing the threshold for an advance of a home equity line of credit, and allowing home equity loans on agricultural homesteads.”
What it means: This amendment would lower the cap on fees charged to borrowers when establishing a home equity loan from 3 percent to 2 percent of the principal of the loan. It would also allow home equity loans to be refinanced as non-home equity loans and would expand the list of entities that may administer home equity loans to include savings banks, credit unions, subsidiaries of banks, and savings and loan associations.
The ballot reads: “The constitutional amendment limiting the service of certain officeholders appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate after the expiration of the person's term of office.”
What it means: Currently, according to the Texas Constitution, unsalaried officials on state boards and commissions must continue to perform their offices’ duties after their terms have expired until successors are ready. This amendment would relieve officials of their positions at the end of the next regular legislative session if a replacement is not prepared beforehand.
The ballot reads: “The constitutional amendment authorizing the Legislature to require a court to provide notice to the attorney general of a challenge to the constitutionality of a state statute and authorizing the Legislature to prescribe a waiting period before the court may enter a judgment holding the statute unconstitutional.”
What it means: This amendment would require courts to notify the attorney general of any constitutional challenges to state laws. It also establishes a 45-day period after notifying the attorney general, during which the court cannot judge the contested statute as unconstitutional.
The ballot reads: “The constitutional amendment on professional sports team charitable foundations conducting charitable raffles.”
What it means: This amendment would expand the number of professional sports team-based foundations able to hold charitable raffles. The list of eligible foundations would now include teams from the Women’s National Basketball Association, Minor League Baseball and United Soccer League.
The ballot reads: “The constitutional amendment authorizing the Legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of all or part of the market value of the residence homestead of the surviving spouse of a first responder who is killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.”
What it means: This amendment would give partial or total property tax exemptions to the surviving spouse of a first responder who was killed in the line of duty. Currently the Texas Constitution provides a property tax exemption for the surviving spouse of a member of the U.S. armed forces who was killed in action but not for law-enforcement officials, firefighters, emergency services personnel or other first responders.
The ballot reads: “The constitutional amendment relating to legislative authority to permit credit unions and other financial institutions to award prizes by lot to promote savings.”
What it means: This amendment would allow credit unions, banks and other financial institutions to conduct promotional activities—such as raffles—to encourage savings.
Plano residents can find nearby polling locations below: