Overview of 2009 Texas Constitutional Amendments and Process

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This post is from Burnt Orange Report's coverage of the 2009 Constitutional Amendment election. For coverage of the 2011 Constitutional Amendment election, CLICK HERE.

Throughout Monday and Tuesday, BOR has been looking at at the various issues on the ballot for this fall's constitutional amendment election. As we prepare our own endorsements, here's an overview of the amendment process and a centralized list of our posts on the subject so far. Burnt Orange Report staff endorsements will be published on Friday.

Background on Constitutional Amendments:

The Legislature proposes these amendments in joint resolutions in the House and Senate. They must pass each body by a two-thirds vote, and cannot be vetoed by the governor. The ballot wording of the amendment is specified in the joint resolution itself. The amendments, if approved by the majority of voters, take effect immediately following the official vote canvass, unless a later date is specified in the resolution. Examples of resolutions passed in 2007 include cancer funding, record votes in the Legislature, and property tax exemptions for work vehicles. For a truly comprehensive look at the amendments and arguments for and against them, I highly recommend the House Research Organization's voter guide (PDF). It doesn't endorse, but gives very solid background on each amendment.

Summary of Amendments and Previous Endorsements:

View excerpts from the League of Women Voters' guide and compare endorsements from The Austin Chronicle, El Paso Times, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Houston Tea Party Patriots, and Senator Kirk Watson's Watson Wire.

Early voting continues through Friday, October 30th. Election day is Tuesday, November 3nd.  


About Author

Katherine Haenschen

Katherine Haenschen is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas, where she studies political participation on digital media. She previously managed successful candidate, issue, voter registration, and GOTV campaigns in Central Texas. She is also a fan of UCONN women's basketball and breakfast tacos.


  1. Prop 4
    No problem with Prop 4. The state would probably get better overall results, however, if it funded UT-Austin and A & M more adequately as research institutions.

    I would think that UT-Dallas will compete well, despite its discouraging beginning; with money from TI and other companies, it began with a research facility in place and is now still only “competitive” for state funding. Perhapss it's difficult to compete for local research support with UT-Southwestern and SMU hunting some of the same dollars. If that's the problem, UTD might not do any better as a designated Tier One institution, leaving room for UT-Arlington, UT-San Antonio, UH and TT to compete for the honor and the bucks.  

    • I have a theory…
      …that since it's impossible to get more funding for UT & A&M, this is basically the only way to get a really big chunk of money into higher ed.

      As a former UT PhD student I have some qualms about it, because I agree that the status quo at UT is untenable in terms of grad student compensation. However, this bill will at least expose more Texans to greater opportunity for a better education.  

  2. AMAZING work, Katherine
    I really can't say enough how awesome you've done on all this. I'm going to learn everything I need to know from this series.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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