Statewide Propositions vote Tuesday, Nov. 6
By 10/25/2007 00:00:00
Voters will decide on 16 constitutional amendments on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
The League of Women Voters list pro and con arguments, on the propositions and their poll resultsbelow.
PROPOSITIONS 1 & 2: San Angelo and student loans. We do not have recommendations on these two amendments as we split down the middle, for and against.
PROPOSITION 3: on Appraisals. We were split on this amendment, however, in studying it more closely, it appears to be a small step forward. Despite the fact 10 percent appears to be scary, all of our calculations indicate that although the appraised value will be more at the end of time, the amount of tax the taxpayer pays will be less. A real estate agent and a financial accountant, amongst us, agreed we should vote for this one.
PROPOSITION 4: on $1 billion for facilities. Unanimously NO. This is a 'Christmas Tree' ornament bill. You can't really tell where all the money is going, nor what for. Besides that, part of these funds are for new high security prisons 'if needed'. According to Arlan Foster, president of AFSCME Council 7 — the 4,000 member union for correctional officers — they cannot safely manage the prisons we currently have. Over crowding is a problem brought on by poor decisions by the legislature, to warehouse people with alcohol and substance abuse problems, who learn in prison how to become real criminals. The proliferation of prisons and the move to 'privatize' them is yet another scam of this administration. Just say NO!
PROPOSITION 5 - Downtown 'Revitalization' Most said NO, simply because removing downtown properties in rural areas from the tax base (whether it's for the purpose of revitalization or something else), places too much burden on the fewer taxpayers in rural areas. Tax abatements to big corporations have run amok. Give us little guys a break!
PROPOSITION 6 - Exempting vehicles used for business. Most said YES. This would make tax reporting a bit simpler (something we should encourage), and benefit realtors, farmers and small business owners who use vehicles for business purposes.
PROPOSITION 7 - Eminent Domain. Most said NO. This proposition on eminent domain appears to help those who may have their land seized, but the proposition is so ambiguous we cannot really say what it will or won't do to help landowners. Given that we cannot trust what the state will do with potential land seizures for the Corridor and tollways, we could only conclude this proposition should be defeated. Land values are often a smaller part of the cost concerns for the little guys — it's the cost of relocation that will harm us — and the disruption in our way of life, that this does not address. And, let's not forget that the Governor vetoed HR 2006, the real eminent domain reform legislation.
PROPOSITION 8 - Home Equity Loans. Two-thirds said NO. This probably contains some decent clean up provisions, but has some backward thinking. Such as a provision that prohibits borrowers from rolling unsecured debt into a secured home equity loan. This 'protection' of the poor, actually limits one of their best options — to reduce their interest rate paid (eaxample 18 percent) to 8 percent on a secured loan!
PROPOSITION 9 - Disabled Vets. Near unanimous said YES. To assist totally disabled veterans in keeping their homes.
PROPOSITION 10 - Hides & Animals. Unanimous YES. This is just a clean up amendment to remove reference to the inspector of hides and animals, which no longer exists!
PROPOSITION 11 - Recorded Votes. Unanimous YES. Requiring the legislature to record their votes (and to put them online!) on legislation is about as basic a political reform as we can imagine. Unfortunately, it doesn't cover all votes, like votes in committees, second readings and amendments. But it's a good start.
PROPOSITION 12 - More $ to TxDOT! Unanimous NO. Do you really want to give TxDOT more money, while under the current cloud of corruption? Also, read what Sal Costello wrote about this one, which tells you where the state can properly get money for roads.
PROPOSITION 13 - Denial of Bail. Near unanimous NO. Although we sympathize with victims of domestic violence, we stand behind the constitutional right to bail.
PROPOSITION 14 - Judge's Terms. Near unanimous YES. Allowing a judge to finish his or her term if they reach retirement age during their term, serves the taxpayers well.
PROPOSITION 15 - Cancer Research. Near unanimous NO. Haven't we all had close friends or family members die from cancer? And we all admire Lance Armstrong. But this is a huge amount of money — $3 billion! Money for research of any disease has not historically been the function of state government, and we don't think it should be. Also this begs the question, if we're really willing to spend this kind of money on health care, wouldn't it be better spent on prevention?
PROPOSITION 16 - Water/Wastewater to Colonias. We do not have a position on this at this time and invite our members and friends to send in comments about this proposition.