Correct. Proposed constitutional amendments require approval of at least two-thirds of both houses of the Texas legislature.
Amending the Texas Constitution
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The Texas Constitution has been amended numerous times over its long history. While some amendments have been trivial, many others have produced major changes to the document. This activity tests your knowledge of the constitutional amendment process in Texas.
Instructions:Determine if the statement regarding the constitutional amendment process in Texas is True or False.The Next button appears if you correctly answer the question.
Statement 1 of 12
Incorrect. Try again.
The process begins when a majority of each house of the Texas legislature votes to put a proposed amendment on the ballot.
In order for a proposed amendment to become law, it must be approved by a majority of Texas voters.
Statement 2 of 12
Correct. A proposed amendment must receive the support of a simple majority of citizens voting in a popular election, the date of which is specified by the legislature.
Statement 3 of 12
Texas citizens can place constitutional amendments on the ballot through the initiative process.
Correct. Unlike voters of other states, such as California, the Texas Constitution does not allow initative or referendum on a statewide level. The initiative process allows citizens to place amendments or statutes on the ballot through petitions. Referendum is a vote by the general electorate on the proposed amendment or statute.
Elections to ratify constitutional amendments generate high voter turnout.
Correct. When constitutional amendments are the only item on the ballot, voter turnout is extremely low, often less than 10 percent. Turnout is higher when amendments appear on the ballot during presidential and gubernatorial elections.
Statement 4 of 12
Statement 5 of 12
Correct. The governor cannot use veto power to kill a proposed constitutional amendment.
The governor can veto a proposed constitutional amendment.
Ballot wording is an important factor in the passage or rejection of proposed amendments.
Correct. The state legislature dictates the wording of all amendments, and it sometimes is misleading to the voters. In 1989, an amendment to increase legislative pay began with the words, “The constitutional amendment to limit the salary….” The measure was defeated by voters despite the confusing wording.
Statement 6 of 12
Statement 7 of 12
Interest groups have little influence on the amendment process.
Correct. Interest groups, which have been historically strong in Texas, work diligently to get provisions into the constitution that would benefit them and keep provisions out of the constitution they fear would hurt them.
Correct. Of the 68 amendments proposed by the state legislature from 2000 to 2009, Texans approved 66 (97 percent).
Most amendments face little opposition and pass easily.
Statement 8 of 12
Most Texas voters are well informed about the constitutional amendments that appear on the ballot.
Statement 9 of 12
Correct. Even though the Texas Constitution requires that the state publish a summary and brief explanation of proposed constitutional amendments in the newspapers at least twice before Election Day, many voters have little knowledge of the amendments on the ballot.
Statement 10 of 12
A provision protected in the Texas Constitution is more difficult to change than one protected by state law alone.
Correct. State law can be easily changed during a legislative session, whereas changing an amendment would require a new amendment be adopted by two-thirds of the legislature and approved by a majority of Texas voters.
Since the Texas Constitution prohibits the state budget from having a deficit, constitutional amendments that authorize the sale of bonds are the only way the state can go into debt.
Correct. The legislature and Texas voters have periodically approved amendments that enable the state to issue general obligation bonds. These bonds allow the state to borrow money to fund prisons, water projects, cancer research, transportation, and other items.
Statement 11 of 12
Constitutional amendments are a way for state legislators to avoid deciding controversial issues.
Statement 12 of 12
Correct. Texas legislators have taken political cover by letting voters decide such controversial issues as same-sex marriage and the legalization of pari-mutuel betting (horse and dog racing) through constitutional amendments.
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