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Election Advisory No. 2019-11

To: Election Officials
From: Keith Ingram, Director of Elections
Keith Ingram's signature
Date: August 5, 2019


2019 Legislative Summary

Below is a brief summary of the major election-related legislation that passed during the 86th Legislative Session. We have also included a reminder about relevant legislation from the 85th Legislative session and some additional changes in federal law affecting elections.

Bills passed during the 2019 Session

Changes related to Voter Registration Confidentiality

Other Relevant Bills

Bills Affecting Debt Obligation Elections and Elections Affecting Property Tax Rates.

Property Tax Election

Joint Resolutions passed during the 2019 Regular Session

HJR 4 - "The constitutional amendment providing for the creation of the flood infrastructure fund to assist in the financing of drainage, flood mitigation, and flood control projects."

HJR 12 - "The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to increase by $3 billion the maximum bond amount authorized for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas."

HJR 34 - "The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for a temporary exemption from ad valorem taxation of a portion of the appraised value of certain property damaged by a disaster."

HJR 38 - "The constitutional amendment prohibiting the imposition of an individual income tax, including a tax on an individual's share of partnership and unincorporated association income."

HJR 72 - "The constitutional amendment permitting a person to hold more than one office as a municipal judge at the same time."

HJR 95 - "The constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to exempt from ad valorem taxation precious metal held in a precious metal depository located in this state."

HJR 151 - "The constitutional amendment allowing increased distributions to the available school fund."

SJR 24 - "The constitutional amendment dedicating the revenue received from the existing state sales and use taxes that are imposed on sporting goods to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission to protect Texas' natural areas, water quality, and history by acquiring, managing, and improving state and local parks and historic sites while not increasing the rate of the state sales and use taxes."

SJR 32  - "The constitutional amendment to allow the transfer of a law enforcement animal to a qualified caretaker in certain circumstances."

SJR 79 - "The constitutional amendment providing for the issuance of additional general obligation bonds by the Texas Water Development Board in an amount not to exceed $200 million to provide financial assistance for the development of certain projects in economically distressed areas."

Bills from 2017 Legislative Session

House Bill 25:  Ends the ability to allow voters the option of voting a straight party ballot with one selection. It also requires the Secretary of State and the voter registrar of each county that maintains a website to notify voters on their websites by September 2020 that straight ticket voting will not be an option going forward. This information provided on the website must be in each language in which voter registration and election materials are available. NOTE: This bill is not effective until September 1, 2020.

Effective Date: September 1, 2020

Statutes Affected: Election Code §§ 1.005, 31.012, 52.071, 62.011, 64.004, 65.007, 65.011, 105.002, 122.001, 124.001, 124.003, 124.063, 129.023, and 232.050.

Changes resulting from Federal Legislation

The Veterans Benefits and Transitions Act (2018): Allows military spouses to choose the same state of residence as their service member for voting purposes, regardless of whether they have ever lived in the state. Non-military overseas voters can still rely on our common law. This does not apply to the children of military and non-military overseas voters.