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November 4, 2013

A summary of proposed Texas amendments

AUSTIN —  Texans will vote on nine proposed constitutional amendments during the Nov. 5 statewide referendum. Here is a summary of the amendments:

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Proposition 1 authorizes the Legislature exempt from property all or part of the market value of the homestead of the surviving spouse of a member of the United States armed services who is killed in action, as long as the surviving spouse has not remarried.

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Proposition 2 repeals the constitutional provision requiring a State Medical Education Board and a State Medical Education Fund, neither of which is in operation.

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Proposition 3 authorizes local authorities to extend the length of time that aircraft parts could remain temporarily in this state before being subject to property tax. Under current law, aircraft parts may remain in Texas for up to 175 days before being subject to tax. Taxing entities could extend the exemption up to 730 days.

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Proposition 4 allows the Legislature to provide for a property tax exemption of part of the market value of the homestead of a partially disabled veteran, or the surviving spouse of a partially disabled veteran, if the residence was donated by a charitable organization.

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Proposition 5 amends the definition of "reverse mortgage" to authorize reverse mortgage loans for the purchase of homestead property in addition to the current uses, and would give lenders recourse against borrowers who fail to timely occupy the homestead properties purchased with such loans.

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Proposition 6 creates the State Water Implementation Fund as a special fund inside the state treasury and outside the General Revenue Fund. Money in the fund would be administered by the Texas Water Development Board and would be used to implement the state water plan.

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Proposition 7 allows home-rule municipalities to adopt provisions authorizing the filling of vacancies in the governing body by appointment, but only when the remainder of the vacant term is less than 12 months.

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Proposition 8 repeals the Texas Constitution's maximum tax rate for a Hidalgo County hospital district. The maximum rate is currently set at 10 cents per $100 valuation, which is lower than the maximum tax rate allowable for hospital districts in all other counties in the state (75 cents per $100 valuation).

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Proposition 9 expands the potential sanctions that the State Commission on Judicial Conduct can issue following a formal proceeding. This constitutional amendment would allow the commission to issue an order of public admonition, warning, reprimand, or a requirement to obtain additional training or education in addition to the Commission's current authority to issue a public censure or recommend removal or retirement of a judge.

 

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    Justice of the Peace Jackie Freeland identified the deceased fireman as Louis Lachney, 46. He was a Lieutenant with the Corsicana Fire Department.

    The crash was reported at 11:27 p.m. Tuesday and occurred  at a sharp curve in the roadway on FM 709 about two miles north of State Highway 31 near Dawson.

    DPS Sgt. Thomas Moore, supervisor at the crash site, said Lachney’s convertible Mazda was traveling north on FM 709 and failed to negotiate a sharp curve, leaving the roadway and overturning several times.

    Moore said Lachney and his two sons who were passengers in the car were all ejected from the vehicle. Moore said the three were apparently not wearing seat belts.

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    Moore said the two boys were transported by air ambulance to a Dallas hospital. He said they were in serious but stable condition when transported from the crash site.

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