The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Texans decide on propositions in Nov. 3 election

By Steve Knight/editor-in-chief

Texans will go to the polls Nov. 3 to decide the fate of 11 constitutional amendments, including two dealing with higher education and eminent domain.

Among the amendments is Proposition 4, which establishes a national research university fund to allow schools to gain national prominence as major research universities, transferring the higher education fund’s balance to the research fund.

If approved, seven universities including the University of North Texas, the University of Texas at Arlington and the University of Texas at Dallas could join the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M and Rice as Tier One status after meeting certain criteria.

Supporters said the amendment would increase research funding, boost schools and keep Texas students in the state.

“The downside is we watch many of our best students continue to go out of state. We’re just watching money flow out the door,” said former Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby on Houston television station KRIV.

Opponents, such as the statewide student organization Young Conservatives of Texas, fear emphasizing research would take away from the universities’ primary mission of education.

“So many of our classes are taught by teaching assistants or very young, inexperienced professors,” Tony McDonald, the organization’s vice chairman of legislative affairs, said in a statement. “And we are seeing that these great professors are teaching practically no classes. The state would be better off using the money to teach students.”

Proposition 11 would limit the power of eminent domain to property that would remain in state or local government ownership or enjoyed by the public. The amendment would limit the legislature’s authority to grant eminent domain power.

Proposition backers said the amendment would protect property owner’s rights.

“In Texas, our property rights are as sacred as the most fundamental American freedoms of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said in a statement.

“Passing Proposition 11 will ensure that Texans’ property rights are protected, and that no person’s land is taken for another individual’s personal enrichment.”

In opposing Proposition 11, Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom, a property rights group, said too many loopholes would remain if the amendment passed.

“I think it’s wide open for lots of chicanery,” Terri Hall, founder and director of the organization, said in a statement. “They can take your land for who knows what [reason].”

Other measures on the Nov. 3 ballot include an amendment to fund federally operated veterans hospitals and a proposal to protect the public’s right to access public beaches.

Registered voters may cast ballots at any of 41 early voting locations in Tarrant County until Oct. 30. On Election Day Nov. 3, voters must vote in the precinct of residence.

The voter registration card is not required to vote. However, voters must produce identification such as a driver’s license or passport.

Tarrant County election officials said they need Spanish- or Vietnamese-speaking poll workers. Call 817-831-6492 for more information.

For voting locations or a list of acceptable IDs, call 817-831-8683 or go to www.tarrantcounty.com/evote.

Other Web sites include the Texas Secretary of State at www.sos.state.tx.us and Vote Texas at www.votexas.org.

 

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