Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

October 4, 2013

Texas voters will decide whether two provisions should be removed from the Texas Constitution

Following is a look from the League of Women Voters at two of the nine proposed changes to the Texas Constitution that will be on the Nov. 5 statewide election ballot. Early voting is Oct. 21 to Nov. 1. Registered voters can vote at any county location during early voting. The last day to register is Oct. 7.

AUSTIN – The Texas Constitution of 1876 has been amended 474 times by Texas voters and is one of the longest state constitutions.

“In the November 5 Constitutional Amendment Election, Texas voters will decide whether to repeal 2 previous amendments and remove provisions from the Texas Constitution” according to LWV-Texas Education Fund Chair, Linda Krefting.

Proposition 2 on the ballot would eliminate an obsolete requirement for a State Medical Education Board (SMEB) and a State Medical Education Fund.  The proposed amendment would remove references to these defunct entities in the constitution and state law.

Legislative author Rep. Dan Branch indicates Proposition 2 repeals “the obsolete State Medical Education Board and the related fund. The board was ineffective in its time and, as a result, has been idle since 1988. This proposition will trim our sprawling Constitution and finally eliminate an agency that the Sunset Commission advised us to abolish 25 years ago.”

Others believe a constitutional amendment to remove references to State Medical Education Board and Fund is unnecessary because they are defunct and no loans have been issued since 1988.

Proposition 8 on the ballot would remove from the Texas Constitution a 1960 amendment that authorized the creation of a hospital district in Hidalgo County with a maximum tax rate of 10 cents per $100 valuation of taxable property, a limit that is below all other counties in Texas.

According to legislative author Rep. Bobby Guerra, Hidalgo County is the largest Texas county without an operating hospital district and has the highest percentage without health insurance in the U.S.

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