Texas voters weigh in

Staff and wire reports

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas voters have rejected a constitutional amendment that would have given counties the same bonding powers as cities and town, while passing a measure to allow cities and counties to enter contracts with one another without creating a new tax district.

Under Proposition 4, Texas counties would have been given the same authority that cities and towns have to issue bonds to finance the development of unproductive, underdeveloped or blighted areas, while pledging repayment with property tax revenues. Critics argued that the amendment would expand transportation reinvestment zones to counties, which could clear the way for new toll roads.

Parmer and Bailey counties both fell in line with the state votes on those propositions. Also in Parmer County, Friona residents approved by a 196-157 vote a $4 million bond for construction at the Friona Independent School District, primarily gymnasium renovations.

In other statewide votes:

• Proposition 1, a measure to give the spouses of deceased disabled veterans a tax property exemption, received 83 percent approval. Currently 100-percent disabled veterans receive an exemption from property taxes. Proposition 1 extends the benefit to their spouses.

• The Higher Education Coordinating Board can now issue bonds for low-interest student loans now that voters have approved Proposition 3.

• Proposition 9, which passed with 57 percent of the vote, allows the governor to pardon a person who completes a deferred adjudication.

• Under Proposition 10, local elected officeholders would get an extra 30 days before triggering automatic resignation if they become a candidate for another office.