There are so many things I love about Fall. There’s pumpkin pie, the change in weather, pumpkin cookies, less kids around in the day time, and the amazing and terrifying fried pumpkin pies from Whataburger and the radio ads for Whataburger that insist on pronouncing the word Punkin. However, the greatest thing about Fall has to be ELECTION DAY! Of course, this election day isn’t as sexy as last year, what with the Palin and the Obama and all that sweet, sweet pie, but despite their absence I will be voting on November 3rd (I’m hoping that this will be the year they give me an “I voted” sticker).
I have been a registered voter since that fateful day in 2000, when, a good three weeks after the 2000 election I turned 18 and marked a little box on a form at the Department of Public Safety while renewing my license. I have also been an unregistered voter since 1996, when I cast a vote in middle school for Bill Clinton and thought for months that I had determined the outcome of the real election.
Next month I’ll be voting for school board members and on 11 Texas amendments. Since there are so many, many exciting things that I barely understand, but heard about once in high school government class (it’s always a lie if I tell you I know what eminent domain means), I’m preparing by reading various blogs and editorial articles on the amendments. If you are a Texas resident, the League of Women Voters of Texas has a list of pros/cons for each amendment. I’m undecided on some amendments, but I’ll change them here when I decide. The proposition to get more pie in more mouths seems to be missing.
Amendment No. 1 (H.J.R. 132)
Authorizing the financing, including through tax increment financing, of the acquisition by municipalities and counties of buffer areas or open spaces adjacent to a military installation for the prevention of encroachment or for the construction of roadways, utilities, or other infrastructure to protect or promote the mission of the military installation.
Undecided, obviously, what does that even mean.
Amendment No. 2 (H.J.R. 36, Article 1)
Authorizing the legislature to provide for the ad valorem taxation of a residence homestead solely on the basis of the property’s value as a residence homestead.
Amendment No. 3 (H.J.R. 36, Article 3)
Providing for uniform standards and procedures for the appraisal of property for ad valorem tax purposes.
Amendment No. 4 (H.J.R. 14, Article 2)
Establishing the national research university fund to enable emerging research universities in this state to achieve national prominence as major research universities and transferring the balance of the higher education fund to the national research university fund.
Yes on 4
Amendment No. 5 (H.J.R. 36, Article 2)
Authorizing the legislature to authorize a single board of equalization for two or more adjoining appraisal entities that elect to provide for consolidated equalizations.
Yes on 5
Amendment No. 6 (H.J.R. 116)
Authorizing the Veterans’ Land Board to issue general obligation bonds in amounts equal to or less than amounts previously authorized.
Yes on 6
Amendment No. 7 (H.J.R. 127)
Allowing an officer or enlisted member of the Texas State Guard or other state militia or military force to hold other civil offices.
No on 7 Other people might want those jobs. Or just one of those jobs.
Amendment No. 8 (H.J.R. 7)
Authorizing the state to contribute money, property, and other resources for the establishment, maintenance, and operation of veterans hospitals in this state.
Yes on 8.
Protecting the right of the public, individually and collectively, to access and use the public beaches bordering the seaward shore of the Gulf of Mexico.
Undecided The Houston Chronicle says yes, but the angry people who comment on chron.com say NOoo!!!1
Amendment No. 10 (H.J.R. 85)
Providing that elected members of the governing boards of emergency services districts may serve terms not to exceed four years.
Amendment No. 11 (H.J.R. 14, Article 1)
Prohibiting the taking, damaging, or destroying of private property for public use unless the action is for the ownership, use, and enjoyment of the property by the State, a political subdivision of the State, the public at large, or entities granted the power of eminent domain under law or for the elimination of urban blight on a particular parcel of property, but not for certain economic development or enhancement of tax revenue purposes, and to limit the legislature’s authority to grant the power of eminent domain to an entity.
Yes on 11? No?