NOTE: This article has been updated (10/23/2023) to reflect the changed positions of True Texas Project on two propositions (1 and 12).

There are 14 constitutional amendments on the November ballot that must be approved by a majority of Texas voters for the underlying legislation to take effect.

Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, True Texas Project, Texas Eagle Forum, and the Huffines Liberty Foundation have all released recommendations for voting on these amendments.

Below is the round-up of recommendations from TFR, TTP, TEF, and HLF (which only has recommendations on six of the amendment propositions).

Additionally, each amendment has an analysis compiled by the Texas Legislative Council, complete with comments from supporters and opponents.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 7, 2023.

Proposition 1 (HJR 126): Protecting the right to engage in farming, ranching, timber production, horticulture, and wildlife management.

TFR: FOR – We recommend voting in favor of this amendment, to further protect and enshrine private property rights into the Texas Constitution.

TTP: AGAINSTWe’ve received information from both sides of this issue and because further study is required, and the language is overly broad, we recommend voting Against.  Constitutional Amendments are too powerful to support without complete understanding of the full impact.  Our top advisors on small farms and ranches advise voting against this amendment because it will give cover to major industry taking over smaller operations.  We also referenced this article.  While we do believe the small farmers within HOAs and in small, annexed communities and such need protection, we must get it right and not create additional issues.

TEF: AGAINST – Texas already has a Right to Farm Statute. Prop. 1 may offer a little more protection to the few farmers located inside an overreaching city’s boundaries, but it also offers Big Agriculture (like Big Pharma and Big Tobacco) the right to harm. America is losing her family farmers as farmland is being gobbled up by a few giant producers. Prop. 1’s biggest proponent touts their support of sustainability, reducing admissions, renewable fuels, and “climate-smart” efforts (while admitting that they purposely avoid the term “climate change.) This is not bill about small farms – it could serve to support the WEF’s efforts to control YOUR food and their 2030 Agenda. Oklahoma rejected this amendment a few years ago by 60+ %. Proponents are unfortunately using small farmers as the front for big agricultural conglomerates. Additionally, TEF has seen evidence that this bill may be connected to the expansion of THC production (from hemp) in Texas – which we oppose.

Texas Legislative Council Analysis 

Proposition 2  (SJR 64): Authorizing a local option exemption from ad valorem taxation by a county or municipality of all or part of the appraised value of real property used to operate a child-care facility.

TFR: AGAINST – We strongly recommend voting against this amendment. Carving out property tax exemptions for businesses always result in higher tax burdens for other businesses, especially homeowners, who must pay more in taxes to make up the difference in lost tax revenue.

TTP: AGAINST – Exempting certain types of businesses from taxes puts a greater burden on the remaining taxpayers. Exemptions like this have governments picking winners and losers.

TEF: AGAINST– This is corporate welfare that would require local taxpayers to pay for child-care facilities that already receive government subsidies.

HLF: AGAINST – Texans should reject this tax break targeted for childcare facilities that only receive government subsidies and increases incentives for parents to spend less time with their children.

Texas Legislative Council Analysis 

Proposition 3 (HJR 132): Prohibiting the imposition of an individual wealth or net worth tax, including a tax on the difference between the assets and liabilities of an individual or family.

TFR: FOR – We recommended voting in favor of this amendment. Texans are already taxed too much, and taxing individuals or families based on their total wealth is immoral and would be an abuse of the state’s taxing authority.

TTP: FOR – We would always be opposed to a wealth tax. Texans are already taxed at every level of earning and spending, and a wealth tax would be a tax on success.

TEF: FOR – Texas familes are taxed too much.

Texas Legislative Council Analysis 

Proposition 4 (HJR 2 from the second special session): Authorizing the legislature to establish a temporary limit on the maximum appraised value of real property other than a residence homestead for ad valorem tax purposes; to increase the amount of the exemption from ad valorem taxation by a school district applicable to residence homesteads from $40,000 to $100,000; to adjust the amount of the limitation on school district ad valorem taxes imposed on the residence homesteads of the elderly or disabled to reflect increases in certain exemption amounts; to except certain appropriations to pay for ad valorem tax relief from the constitutional limitation on the rate of growth of appropriations; and to authorize the legislature to provide for a four-year term of office for a member of the board of directors of certain appraisal districts.

TFR: FOR – While recognizing that most of this relief will not be permanent and most Texans will continue to struggle under the crushing weight of property taxes, some relief is better than none.

TTP: FOR – This tax relief bill will provide very little, very short-lived tax relief, which will quickly be eaten up by inflation, appraisal increases, and governments’ reluctance to control spending and lower tax rates. But some tax relief is better than none.

TEF: FOR – This is better than nothing but most of the relief will not be permanent.

Texas Legislative Council Analysis 

Proposition 5 (HJR 3): Relating to the Texas University Fund, which provides funding to certain institutions of higher education to achieve national prominence as major research universities and drive the state economy.

TFR: AGAINST – Taxpayers already fund higher education by billions of dollars every year. Higher education already receives enough public support, not to mention that most of them are essentially publicly funded, leftist indoctrination centers.

TTP: AGAINST – This is one of the “fund” amendments to keep spending off-budget. We already fund higher education by billions each year, and they have become primarily leftist indoctrination meccas. 

TEF: AGAINST – $208,400,000 plus over $100,000,000 yearly, Higher Ed gets plenty of support from taxpayers. This is a less transparent way to support trending indoctrination.

HLF: AGAINST – Research funding already lacks transparency and is often used in ways to increase profits for businesses and university researchers. Texans should reject additional funding for research that largely benefits Texas’ woke universities and big businesses. 

Texas Legislative Council Analysis 

Proposition 6 (SJR 75): Creating the Texas water fund to assist in financing water projects in this state.

TFR: NEUTRAL – While clean water is a very important resource, this amendment nonetheless will expand government and the spending of taxpayer dollars. 

TTP: AGAINST – This is one of the “fund” amendments to keep spending off-budget. The state is already spending money on financing water projects and not solving the problem. This fund is socialistic and is government ownership of means of production.

TEF: AGAINST – This works against the free market and expands government control.

HLF: AGAINST – Proposition 6 would expand government control over Texas’ water supply and market. Another name for that is socialism. Texans should reject this subsidy for special interests in the Texas water industry. 

Texas Legislative Council Analysis 

Proposition 7 (SJR 93): Providing for the creation of the Texas energy fund to support the construction, maintenance, modernization, and operation of electric generating facilities.

TFR: FOR – We recommend voting FOR this amendment as a crucial step to securing the Texas Grid and protecting against rolling blackouts.

TTP: AGAINST – This is one of the “fund” amendments to keep spending off-budget. This fund would incentivize construction, maintenance, modernization, and operation of electric generating facilities. It provides loans and grants to electric generating companies, picking winners and losers. We already subsidize renewable and traditional electric generation with about $6 billion per year.

TEF: AGAINST – If this bill included dedicated grid protection against EMP, solar flare, and on-the- ground terrorism, we would fully support it. It appears to be mostly about low-interest rate loans to create more reliable energy sources but does not even require new facilities to be secure.

HLF: AGAINST – Proposition 7 would increase the cost of electricity without improving the reliability of the electric grid. It would also accelerate the trend toward ending market competition and putting Texas politicians and bureaucrats in control of the Texas electricity market. Texans should reject more subsidies for electric generators and let politicians know that grid reliability should be increased by ending renewable energy subsidies.

Texas Legislative Council Analysis 

Proposition 8 (HJR 125): Creating the broadband infrastructure fund to expand high-speed broadband access and assist in the financing of connectivity projects.

TFR: AGAINST – Since this fund would essentially act as corporate welfare for broadband companies, and the money used in the fund should be returned to the taxpayers in the form of property tax relief, we recommended voting against this amendment.

TTP: AGAINST – This is one of the “fund” amendments to keep spending off-budget. This amendment is corporate welfare. We lobbied against this legislation during the session as crony capitalism and government interference in markets.

TEF: AGAINST – New tech will quickly make this “behind the times” and a corporate welfare fund. It creates a fund for off-budget and less transparent spending. It would be a big win for the lobbyists.

HLF: AGAINST – Proposition 8 comes while SpaceX and (soon) Amazon are using private capital to fill the skies with satellites designed to bring broadband to underserved areas, including rural Texas. Texans should reject this transfer of wealth from average taxpayers to telecom companies that expands the size and scope of Texas government. 

Texas Legislative Council Analysis 

Proposition 9 (HJR 2 from the regular session): Authorizing the 88th Legislature to provide a cost-of-living adjustment to certain annuitants of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.

TFR: NEUTRAL – While this amendment would spend billions in taxpayer dollars, we also recognize that retired teachers have not had a cost-of-living adjustment, to keep up with inflation, in many years.

TTP: NEUTRAL – Everyone likes teachers! It’s hard to say no to helping them cope with inflation since they have not had a raise in several years. But it will cost the state billions.

TEF: NEUTRAL, Leaning For – Retired teachers have not had a cost-of-living increase in many years. Blame this spending on Biden’s inflation and economy.

Texas Legislative Council Analysis 

Proposition 10 (SJR 87): Authorizing the legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation equipment or inventory held by a manufacturer of medical or biomedical products to protect the Texas healthcare network and strengthen our medical supply chain.

TFR: AGAINST – Since this will inevitably increase the tax burden on homeowners and small businesses to make up the difference in lost tax revenue, we strongly recommend voting against this amendment.

TTP: AGAINST – Exempting certain types of businesses from taxes puts a greater burden on the remaining taxpayers. Exemptions like this have governments picking winners and losers. 

TEF: AGAINST – This is corporate welfare. Local taxpayers will pay 1/3 of the money lost to the companies, and statewide taxpayers will make up the other 2/3. Local taxpayers take a double hit.

HLF: AGAINST – Proposition 10 would result in a transfer of wealth from Texas taxpayers to medical or biomedical product manufacturers. Texans should reject this encroachment on their liberty. 

Texas Legislative Council Analysis 

Proposition 11 (SJR 32): Authorizing the legislature to permit conservation and reclamation districts in El Paso County to issue bonds supported by ad valorem taxes to fund the development and maintenance of parks and recreational facilities.

TFR: NEUTRAL – While bonds inevitably mean increases in taxes on taxpayers, this amendment is local in nature and only affects El Paso County. 

TTP: AGAINST – We generally oppose all bonds, and this amendment would provide additional capacity for El Paso County to increase taxes to fund parks and recreation facilities with new bonds.

TEF: AGAINST – El Paso can already issue bonds for parks and recreational facilities. Creates new taxing authority. Fits the Biden 30×30 Land Grab objectives.

Texas Legislative Council Analysis 

Proposition 12 (HJR 134): Providing for the abolition of the office of county treasurer in Galveston County.

TFR: FOR – The current Galveston County treasurer ran on a platform of abolishing the position (getting rid of his own job). This is a local issue, and one less government official means a smaller government overall. 

TTP: AGAINST – The current Treasurer campaigned on a promise to eliminate his position, which prompted this legislative action. Since one less government position means less government, we initially supported this amendment. However, we then heard from many conservative activists in the Galveston area who said they don’t want the position to be dissolved because there will be no more accountability to the office and it will be handed to cronies.

TEF: NEUTRAL – The idea sounds good under the right elected officials. However, someday Galveston citizens may wish the person hired to do the duties of treasurer reported to them rather than be beholden to the Commissioners who hired him/her. This is a local issue that happens to be required in our Texas Constitution.

Texas Legislative Council Analysis 

Proposition 13 (HJR 107): Increasing the mandatory age of retirement for state justices and judges.

TFR: AGAINST – While the average life expectancy has increased, and the state could experience benefits from more experienced judges serving longer, there is always the risk of more elderly judges overseeing important parts of our judicial system. As we have seen on the federal level, cognitive decline is a real problem and could jeopardize justice. 

TTP: AGAINST– The legislation says “expiration of the term during which the incumbent reaches the age of 79 years or such earlier age, not less than 75 years.” As a result, some judges could serve into their 80s since the retirement is required, not when the judge turns 79, but at the expiration of the term in which he/she turns 79. Extending this retirement age is a severe roadblock to young attorneys challenging long-term incumbent judges.

TEF: AGAINST – There are plenty of qualified lawyers who would like to and be qualified to be elected/appointed as judges. Running against an incumbent judge can hurt an attorney’s future clients’ cases, so many are looking for an opening seat.

Texas Legislative Council Analysis 

Proposition 14 (SJR 74): Providing for the creation of the centennial parks conservation fund to be used for the creation and improvement of state parks. 

TFR: AGAINST – While conservation of natural resources and areas is important, there are other ways than spending billions of taxpayer dollars to maintain or create new state parks. 

TTP: AGAINST – This is one of the “fund” amendments to keep spending off budget. There are other ways to create and improve state parks. This amendment is just an excuse to spend more money without having it show up in the budget.

TEF: AGAINST – Land mass in Texas is not increasing while the population is growing. We need food more than we need parks. This is another Amendment that fits nicely in the Biden 30×30 Land Grab agenda.

Texas Legislative Council Analysis

Election Day is Tuesday, November 7, 2023.

Sydnie Henry

A born and bred Texan, Sydnie serves as the Managing Editor for Texas Scorecard. She graduated from Patrick Henry College with a B.A. in Government and is utilizing her research and writing skills to spread truth to Texans.