Voter recommendations for Nov. 7th Texas constitutional amendment election (2023)

There are fourteen Texas constitutional amendments on the November 7th ballot. My voter recommendations, with explanations, are below.

At the bottom I have included a link to the official state explanatory statements for each amendment which is useful in fully understanding what each proposition, if adopted, does. Also, I have included a link to the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s amendment guide.

  • Election Day is Tuesday, November 7th with polls open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Early voting runs from Monday, October 23rd through Friday, November 3rd

Summary of my recommendations:

  1. FOR
  3. FOR
  4. FOR
  5. FOR
  6. FOR
  7. FOR
  9. FOR
  14. FOR

Explanation of my recommendations:

“The constitutional amendment protecting the right to engage in farming, ranching, timber production, horticulture, and wildlife management.”

FOR: Being from a family of farmers, I’d like to get excited about this amendment but frankly, it is rather meaningless.

I have a listener who is very smart, a rural lawyer, and a staunch constitutionalist who opposes this proposition but his argument on this item does not convice me there is any harm in it. But, don’t expect it to protect much. From the State’s official explanatory statement:

…”The proposed amendment would not affect the authority of the legislature to authorize the regulation of these practices by: (1) a state agency or political subdivision as necessary to protect the public health and safety from imminent danger; (2) a state agency to prevent a danger to animal health or crop production; or (3) a state agency or political subdivision to preserve or conserve the natural resources of the state under the Texas Constitution. Additionally, the proposed amendment would not affect the legislature’s authority to authorize the use or acquisition of property for a public use, including the development of natural resources under the Texas Constitution.”

“The constitutional amendment 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.”

AGAINST: The official explaination says that this “amendment would authorize the governing body to adopt the exemption as a percentage of the appraised value of the property, but that percentage could not be less than 50% of the appraised value of the property.”

Why just child-care facilities? Property taxes inflate the cost of everything necessary from a visit to the doctor and purchase from a pharmacy to groceries and housing. The idea is to help make childcare more affordable but the better public good is to make outside the home childcare less necessary by lowering the tax burden across the board – a burden that has moved families into the position of having to be duel income. I’m simply against policy that further encourages the rearing of children being turned over to strangers whether in a government school or private daycare.

“The constitutional amendment 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.”

FOR: This is a preventative measure that is feel-good in nature because any new Texas tax from the legislature already requires a vote of the people under our constitution plus, an amendment to the constitution can always be overturned with another amendment. The official description says the amendment would prohibit the legislature from imposing a tax based on the difference between the assets and liabilities, or a tax based on the wealth or net worth, of an individual or family. I am for that prohibition.

“The constitutional amendment to authorize 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.”

FOR: This is the amendment that must be passed in order to enjoy the tax cuts for which the legislature voted by forcing school district levied property taxes down and replacing such with money collected by the state through other tax sources. On electing a few people to appraisal district boards, it will not be the solution many have claimed but it certainly cannot be worse. At minimum, if pro-taxpayer people get elected then at least there is a spy to hear what all the government appointed people are doing.

“The constitutional amendment 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.”

FOR: This allows for a fund, tiny in comparison to the Permanent University Fund, to aid other state universities such as Texas Tech. It is time legislators let the people of Texas vote on changing the PUF fund to apply to all state universities.

“The constitutional amendment creating the Texas water fund to assist in financing water projects in this state.”

FOR: Money for the fund must be appropriated by legislators for it to have much benefit. My only reservation about this fund is that it give yet more power to the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) which, at some point as all such agencies do, will become our enemy on water policy trying to dictate what we can do with our private property resourses.

“The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the Texas energy fund to support the construction, maintenance, modernization, and operation of electric generating facilities.”

FOR: I support this amendment only because the Left is effectively using politics to steer funds away from investment in effective power generation. If such was not the case I would wholely oppose the amendment because the real problem is that Texas Republicans, legislators and governors, have specifically allowed this problem to come about by permitting heavily subsidized wind and solar power generation to make up too much of a percentage of the ERCOT grid’s generating capacity. This has also steered private investment away from reliable, dispatchable power generation in Texas.

“The constitutional amendment creating the broadband infrastructure fund to expand high-speed broadband access and assist in the financing of connectivity projects.”

AGAINST: This program, and it is rife with federal companions, is little but a payoff to the big legacy telecom companies (which have big lobbies in Austin by the way.) There is fast-as-broadband service being deployed or being planned already from the private sector. SpaceX Starlink is already used across Texas in rural areas and is better than the boadband I have in the city. OneWeb also has service; Amazon is planning it’s global Internet satellite network, and; upgrades in wireless networks are underway. This entire rural broadband effort is typical of political reaction: it is way behind the actual market.

“The constitutional amendment authorizing the 88th Legislature to provide a cost-of-living adjustment to certain annuitants of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.”


“The constitutional amendment to authorize 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.”

AGAINST: For similar reasons for opposing Proposition 2, I oppose this idea. Why give this industry a property tax break? All it does is shift more burden to the rest of us who are paying full rates.

“The constitutional amendment 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.”

AGAINST: Just another way to issue debt in the public’s name, for which they will pay in higher taxes, through government entities most voters don’t even know exist.

“The constitutional amendment providing for the abolition of the office of county treasurer in Galveston County.”

AGAINST: I am firmly against this constant desire to reduce check and balances in our local governments. The work still has to be done by someone and thus any cost savings are minimal at best. A county auditor office loses its purpose of being a check-and-balance when it assumes the role of money handler and, if county commissioners hire someone to handle the money, that opens the door to collusion between commissioners and the employee answerable only to them in nefarrious activities with a county’s money.

“The constitutional amendment to increase the mandatory age of retirement for state justices and judges.”

AGAINST: We have plenty of younger lawyers ready to run for judge; almost every race has many candidates. There is little legitimate reason to protect incumbents serving on the bench other than that they don’t want to retire. Judgeships in Texas are for set terms, not lifetime appointments.

“The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the centennial parks conservation fund to be used for the creation and improvement of state parks.”

FOR: As the state faces massive urban sprawl and population growth it needs to have a fund dedicated to developing more park space. The fund will only be as effective as its funding from future legislatures.


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  1. Mr. Pratt,

    I disagree with several of your recommendations concerning the Constitutional Amendment Propositions in this November 7th election.

    I hope you will consider these concerns and reconsider your recommendations. I believe that Constitutional Amendments should be rare and reserved for overwhelmingly evidence-based, sound and pressing issues. Everything you support will only increase the size and scope and budget of the government; is anti free market; and expands government control and ownership of private property, business, education, and production – the exact opposite of what Texas needs or stands for.

    Proposition 5: I am against taxpayers having to fund or support the Texas University Fund. If anything, public funding for colleges and universities needs to end, as they’ve become cesspools of leftist, and anti-science and anti-American politics.
    Research. TUF goes to woke, globalist agendas of the World Economic Forum, including climate change, sustainable energy and agriculture, one health and global health security, bogus universal flu vaccine development, mental health, energy transition and renewable energy, decarbonization, DEI policies, and biological pathogen research focused on biological threats in readying the next pandemic, etc.

    Proposition 6: I oppose expanding government control over Texas’ water and industry. All EPA-related water management is unsound and destructive environmental agendas.

    Proposition 11 and 11: Absolute oppose both of these Propositions. They are both backhanded ways to take away property rights, stop land development or industry, favor pet stakeholders and corruption, and give government control over land and how it will be used for ever and ever.
    “Conservation” is the active take over of private property and land across the West by environmental activists and big-Government socialism/globalist interests. Worse, it epitomizes the World Economic Forum’s Cities of Tomorrow and UN’s Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development, as seen in SmartCities and smart growth urban planning and the Universal Development Codes that have overtaken city councils across Texas.
    Read the research by Tom DeWeese at American Policy Center or Save Your Cities to learn more.

    • Pratt on Texas says

      All good points except this: “I believe that Constitutional Amendments should be rare…” That is true for the federal constitution but the Texas Constitution is setup to reserve most all power to the people meaning that most things a legislature could do in most other states, requires a vote of the people through the amendment process.

    • I agree with all points Sandy makes. Thank you for raising awareness to all the sheep who are asleep.

  2. correction Proposition 11 & 14.

  3. Thank you for explaining these propositions. I’m glad to say you agree with me on all points and, therefore, will likely mirror my vote.

  4. I like many others wonder where the money that the Texas lottery system was supposed to go to schools went? General fund paying for bureaucrats? Where?

    • Pratt on Texas says

      It was for public schools and it just went into the general revenue fund. It was among Gov. Ann Richards’ big lies.
      “In fact, from 1992 to 1997, not a single dollar from lottery sales was given to public education. Instead, the revenue was allocated to Texas’ General Revenue Fund, retailer commissions, the prize reserve fund, and administrative expenses. It was not until 1998 that the Texas Lottery Commission transferred 37 percent of total lottery sales directly to the Foundation School Fund, which supports public education in Texas.”
      Please read:

  5. Thank You! Greatly appreciate your insight and recommendations!

  6. This was helpful to better understand the propositions and I loved that some ventured out with alternative opinions/explanations. And JD, thank you for challenging the misallocation of lottery funding and the informative explanation by Mr. Pratt. I have the same concerns. I tend to agree with Sandy when giving the boards the blanket power to decide how money is spent on many of these issues because the boards are usually controlled by people who have vested interests that aren’t in our best interests. Voting no on 10 of 14 because they lack tight wording/controls.

  7. Mr Pratt,
    My wife and I rely on your voting guides regularly and value and appreciate your service to our state.

  8. I am busy helping save live in healthcare industry and find it difficult to interpret the propositions. I find it extremely helpful to read discussions and replies by all to make an educated decision. Thanks for posting.

  9. Where do you find “all the enabling legislation”? Proposition 9 states “…provide a cost-of-living adjustment to certain annuitants of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.”. I would like to know which “certain annuitants” this refers to.

    • Pratt on Texas says

      You look up the bill numbers. Proposition 9 is easy because there is no giant complex bill waiting on it to pass as there can be with others. You look up the bill numbers here: Then you tab through and read texts of the bills (enrolled version is final version that passed.)

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