Editorial

23 September 2019

Capitol Update: Ballot Propositions 5 & 6

Governor Abbott recently declared a state of emergency due to flooding in southeast Texas from Tropical Storm Imelda. My prayers are with all of those who have again been affected by immense rainfall from this natural disaster. As usual, our brave first responders are already helping save lives and mitigate damages for those affected by this storm. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tell us that over half of all flood-related drownings nationwide occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water.  Please remember to proceed with extreme caution when approaching water on a roadway and take heed of the warning to “Turn Around, Don’t Drown!”

With that here’s this week’s legislative update. . .

Legislative Update

This week we’ll dive into propositions five and six, as we continue our weekly examination of propositions that will be on the ballot in November.

Proposition 5 proposes a constitutional amendment to appropriate all state revenue derived from sales and use tax on sporting goods to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission. Though current law provides for the allocation of sporting goods sales tax revenue to these departments, that revenue actually appropriated by the Legislature is often substantially less than the total amount of revenue derived from that tax. This amendment seeks to bolster those funds to create a more sustainable funding source to help with long-term planning and improvements for the state park system and our state’s historical sites.

Proposition 6 proposes a constitutional amendment to authorize the Legislature to increase the maximum bond amount – from $3 billion to $6 billion – for the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas. Currently, the Legislature may authorize up to $3 billion in general obligation bonds for the Cancer Prevention Research Institute, which leads the nation in cancer research in prevention. Without this increase, the institute runs the risk of exhausting the available resources for grant funding, which the institute is authorized to do until 2022. The Legislature will still retain the authority to grant these bonds, but this amendment will allow for the Legislature to authorize a larger bond amount in the future.

Reminders

The mobile office is on the road this month and looks forward to seeing you on the following dates, in the following locations: 9-11 a.m. Sept. 18 at the San Augustine County Courthouse in San Augustine.

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