Topic: How is the Texas Constitution changed?
As you’ve read in your text, changes to the Texas Constitution are proposed by the state legislature, but can only be approved by a majority vote in a statewide election. In 2013, the Texas Legislature voted to propose 9 amendments, which were all approved by voters in November, 2013.
One major issue, transportation, took until a third special session last summer for legislators to agree on a plan. The proposal adopted by legislators will be considered by voters in November of this year.
For this assignment, go first to the Texas Legislature’s website:
As you’ve learned from your reading, state constitutional amendments must be passed by a 2/3 vote of both the Texas House and the Texas Senate before they can be submitted to the people for a vote. A proposed amendment is submitted to the legislature as a “joint resolution” (H.J.R. if the author is a representative, S.J.R. if the author is a senator).
Find the third special session of the 83rd Legislature (use the little pull down menu where it says “Legislature:” to find “83(3) – 2013? if it’s not already on that. Look up S.J.R. 12, the constitutional amendment about transportation, and its “enabling legislation,” H.B. 1. Write a 2 – 5 page essay about this proposed change to our state constitution. Make sure your essay tells your reader
1.The number and author of the joint resolution proposing this amendment.
2.What the proposed amendment would do.
3.Arguments for and against.
4.Who you think might have been for it and against it (Hint: see who testified at the hearing, and who they represented).
5.Why you think it was a good idea or a bad idea.
6.What do you think Texas voters will decide in November?
Submit in Word. Cite your sources.
Note to procrastinators: This is the last assignment for this short course. Turn it in on time if you want credit.
The House Research Organization is a great place to get information for this assignment. They did their analysis on the House version, but it’s the same issue: https://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=833&Bill=HJR1#
This San Antonio Express News blog talks about the legislature finally reaching a compromise on this issue: https://blog.mysanantonio.com/terrihall/2013/08/third-times-a-charm-texas-lawmakers-finally-pass-transportation-funding-bill/