The Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas makes the following recommendations to voters regarding the Constitutional Amendments on the November 5th ballot. For recommendations on local issues check with your local RLC chapter. As always, you should vote your conscience, but we believe that these recommendations are most appropriate for those who wish to limit the power of government and protect the interests of individual citizens.
Amendment 1: VOTE NO
This amendment provides for a property tax exemption for the surviving spouse of a member of the armed services. While the intent is laudable, any benefit is more than negated in the increased tax burden which it transfers to other property owners. This is not a reduction in taxation, just a transfer to the benefit of one group over another.
Amendment 2: VOTE YES
This eliminates two state agencies that have not actually operated for years. A great idea , but just a start on cutting back wasteful government redundancy.
Amendment 3: NO RECOMMENDATION
This amendment extends a special tax benefit to one industry without extending it to others. As such it is inherently unfair, but the argument justifying it on the basis of need is reasonable.
Amendment 4: VOTE NO
Like Amendment 1 this gives a special property tax benefit to disabled veterans or their spouses. Again, it is a transfer of tax costs from one group to the rest of the public and inherently unfair. The service of disabled veterans is already compensated with long term benefits from the federal government, as it should be.
Amendment 5: NO RECOMMENDATION
While a reverse mortgage is generally a very bad idea in personal finance, it does not seem justifiable to deny people the right to buy one if they are fully informed of the risks and wish to do so. Individual voters should decide if it is the job of the state in this case to protect people from their own bad financial decisions.
Amendment 6: VOTE NO
We strongly recommend a vote against this amendment. While Texas does need increased access to water and better infrastructure, this solution will put control of too many resources in the hands of government and unaccountable Public-Private Partnerships and create the opportunity for cronyism on a large scale and with a very large amount of taxpayer money from the rainy day fund. There are better private and free market solutions to the state’s water problems.
Amendment 7: VOTE NO
This special provision for filling vacancies in city governments without an election is contrary to the most basic principles of sound government and completely unnecessary.
Amendment 8: NO RECOMMENDATION
This amendment grants a special exemption to existing law which was designed to protect private business. It will allow the creation of a public hospital in competition with private alternatives, but it is supported by the community and may help establish a better healthcare environment for the public. It should probably be left up to the taxpayers of the area effected.
Amendment 9: VOTE YES
There is nothing more destructive of a free society than judicial misconduct or malfeasance. Expanding sentencing options for judges who abuse their office is desirable if it will help discourage them from misbehavior or make sure that they are kept off the bench when they abuse their office.