Resolutions must be passed by two-thirds of the House and Senate Chambers before an amendment may be proposed. If adopted by the legislature, the proposed amendment will be on the ballot in the next general election. By voting for or against the proposed amendment, Texas voters have the last say. They can vote "yes" or "no" on each amendment.
The way that amendments are ratified after they are approved by voters is dependent on how they are written. For example, if an amendment requires legislation to go into effect, then it would need to be ratified by the legislatures of at least 38 states over again. However, if it requires only a majority vote of the electors, then it could be ratified by the legislatures of any number of states.
Amendments have been introduced in both houses of the Texas Legislature for consideration by your state legislators. The following links will take you to the appropriate websites where you can review the amendments and provide feedback: HJR 99 - Equal Rights Amendment and SJR 42 - Congressional Districts Reform.
The Constitution of Texas is the highest law of the land. As such, it cannot be amended unless it is done so through the process described above. If your state legislator wants to know more about how amendments are ratified, they should contact their local office of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The Texas Constitution states that the legislature may propose changes to the constitution by a two-thirds vote of all members of each house, and that proposed additions must then be presented for ratification to qualified voters in the state. If approved by a majority of voters, the amendment becomes part of the constitution.
Amendments have been introduced by legislators on behalf of citizens who pose them directly to the legislature. The most recent such amendment, called "Proposition 14", was submitted by Senator John Whitmire (D-Houston) and Representative Leo Berman (R-Palm Beach Gardens). It would have added language to the Texas Constitution prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people. However, it never made it out of committee and thus did not reach the floor for a vote.
In addition to legislative proposals, the constitution permits amendments to be suggested by petition or convention. In 1989, voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing for the creation of charter schools. In 2005, voters ratified another amendment allowing for the expansion of casino gambling in Texas.
Amendments have also been rejected by the public. In 2001, voters refused to approve an amendment that would have limited the power of judges to rule on matters before them. This amendment was proposed after the Supreme Court of Texas struck down certain provisions of the Texas Election Code as unconstitutional.
Texas lacks a procedure for enacting constitutional changes. Thus, amendments in Texas can be placed on the ballot by legislative referral. If approved by voters, they become part of the constitution.
Amendments may also be proposed by petition signed by registered voters equal to 10 percent of the total number of votes cast for all candidates for governor at the previous gubernatorial election. The amendment must then be submitted to the legislature, which has the option of proposing its own amendment or refusing to act on the one presented to it. If no amendment is proposed within six months after being submitted to the legislature, the original amendment dies. However, it can be revived by another petition containing signatures from voters equal to 10 percent of the total number of votes cast for all candidates for governor at the next gubernatorial election.
The only way to remove an amendment from the constitution is through another petition containing signatures from voters equal to 10 percent of the total number of votes cast for all candidates for governor at the next gubernatorial election. The amendment would die if no amendment is proposed within six months after being submitted to the legislature.
Texas voters will decide whether to approve the proposed modifications later. Since 1876, the legislature has suggested hundreds of modifications, with the vast majority of them being approved by voters. The last time Texas voters rejected a constitutional amendment was in 1980 when they rejected Proposition 13, which altered the way property taxes are assessed and collected.
The current constitution was adopted on February 24, 1866. Before that, Texas had been part of the United States since 1845. In order for any changes to be made to the federal constitution, or the government's power structure, three-fourths of the states have to agree. Since Texas is its own country within the United States, it can make its own changes to its constitution without getting permission from anyone else.
In addition to creating an independent nation within America, Texans also created one of the most powerful governments in the world. The head of state is called the "president" who is elected by popular vote every four years. The president can serve no more than two consecutive terms. The office of the president does not provide any sort of special protection under the law, so anyone can become president. However, since 1900, no person who has not been a natural-born citizen of the United States for at least 35 years has been able to win election as president.