REORGANIZED TEXAS CONSTITUTION WITHOUT SUBSTANTIVE CHANGE

TEXAS ADVISORY COMMISSION ON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS

The Texas Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations is a state agency created by the Texas legislature to improve coordination and cooperation among all levels of government in Texas by providing continuing research, information, and advisory services to public officials and citizens of the state. The Commission is composed of representatives of state government, federal government, cities, counties, special districts, school districts, and the general public.

Austin, Texas January 1977

Price: $3.50 (plus 18¢ state sales tax if applicable)

TEXAS ADVISORY COMMISSION ON INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS

LEGISLATIVE MEMBERS*

William P. Hobby, Lieutenant Governor Houston

Bill Clayton, Speaker of the House of

Representatives

Springlake

Tom Creighton, State Senator Mineral Wells

Oscar Mauzy, State Senator Dallas

Max Sherman, State Senator Amarillo

Lyndon Olson, Jr., State Representative Waco

Tim Von Dohlen, State Representative Goliad

CITY OFFICIALS*

Charles C. Carsner, Jr., Mayor Victoria

Lila Cockrell, Mayor San Antonio

Fred Hofheinz, Mayor Houston

COUNTY OFFICIALS

Clyde Anderson

El Paso County Commissioner

El Paso

Jack Griesenbeck, Bastrop County Judge Bastrop

Bob Honts, Travis County Commissioner Austin

Raymon Thompson, Young County Judge Graham

SCHOOL OFFICIALS

Don Rogers, Superintendent

Eanes Independent School District

Austin

Dana Williams, Superintendent

Corpus Christi Independent School District

Corpus Christi

FEDERAL OFFICIALS

George C. Marks

State Resource Conservationist

US Department of Agriculture

Temple

Paul W. Story, Regional Director

US Department of Labor

Dallas

*Vacancy.

OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS

Fred N. Pfeiffer, General Manager San Antonio River Authority San Antonio

William J. Pitstick, Executive Director North Central Texas Council of Governments Arlington

CITIZEN MEMBERS

Pledger B. Cate, Executive Vice President South Texas Chamber of Commerce San Antonio

Jim Dannenbaum

Dannenbaum Engineering Corp.

Houston

Bill Hartman

Hartman Newspapers, Inc.

Beaumont

James N. Martin, Attorney San Antonio

STAFF

ADMINISTRATION RESEARCH

James F. Ray, Executive Director

Katherine S. Bennett, Director Betty H. Williams

N. David Spurgin, Director of Research Jay G. Stanford, Director of Governmental Services José Jorge Anchondo Daron K. Butler Dan E. Caldwell Olive G. Forbes Sharon Gillespie R. Bruce Hatfield Cynthia Keever Paula W. Manning Don Neumann Louise H. Winecup

PUBLICATIONS Support

Brenda Lee, Director Lorraine L. Camp

Joy Markel Jo Ann Seale Patricia Corbin Josephine Ramirez Glenda Woolsey Nancy Nixon David Theis

FOREWORD

The reorganized constitution contained in this report was prepared to help provide a better understanding of the state's basic charter. It consists of a logically organized, clearly written version of the existing Texas constitution without change in the meaning of any of its provisions. In addition to its use as an educational tool, the reorganized document may also prove useful to members and staff of the Texas legislature as a starting point for drafting any future amendments to the constitution.

Because of the 221 amendments made over the 100 years since the Texas constitution was adopted, the document has become much more complicated and detailed than the original charter. There are many examples of inconsistencies in the wording of specific provisions, and much of the material in several articles has little relationship to the subject matter that was originally there. Also, some sections are misleading since they have been superseded by amendments in other parts of the constitution.

The Reorganized Texas Constitution Without Substantive Change draws upon the extensive research of the Texas constitution performed during the past few years as a result of the 1972 constitutional amendment approved by the voters of the state. Generally the reorganized document is based on research performed for the 1973 Constitutional Revision Commission, the 1974 Constitutional Convention, and the 1975 session of the Texas legislature. Primary resource documents include The Texas Constitution: An Annotated and Comparative Analysis (preliminary edition, 1974); a previous reorganization and simplification study published by the Texas Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations in 1973; and materials prepared by the Office of Constitutional Research, Texas Legislative Council.

Many people have contributed to the preparation of this report. The Commission initiated the project in January 1976, and preliminary and revised versions of the draft report were circulated to selected agencies of Texas state government, constitutional officers, and private associations and organizations who are affected by or interested in specific provisions of the constitution. Also, legal experts and other individuals with extensive knowledge of the Texas constitution were asked to review the document. This review process and the resulting suggestions have contributed to the accuracy of the document as a restatement of the present constitution without any substantive change.

The report was approved for publication by the Commission at its bimonthly meeting on January 14, 1977. Louise Winecup, senior research associate on the Commission staff, served as director of the project.

Austin, Texas January 1977

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION ix

REORGANIZED TEXAS CONSTITUTION WITHOUT SUBSTANTIVE CHANGE 1 Preamble 1

Article I, Bill of Rights 1 Article II, Separation of Powers 10 Article III, The Legislature 11 Article IV, The Executive 25 Article V, The Judiciary 37

Article VI, Voter Qualifications and Elections 56 Article VII, Education 59 Article VIII, Finance 71 Article IX, Local Government 97 Article X, General Provisions 115 Article XI, Modes of Amending the Constitution 130 Transition Schedule 132

APPENDIX A: Conflicts Between the Texas Constitution and the United States Constitution or Federal Supreme Court Decisions 137

APPENDIX B: Cross-Reference Table 153

INTRODUCTION

The present Constitution of the State of Texas was drafted in 1875 and adopted in 1876. At that time it was composed of 17 articles, each article containing the subject matter specified in the article heading. Since 1876, the people of Texas have approved 221 amendments to the state's basic document. The amendment process has resulted in a state constitution which has lost much of its organizational cohesiveness and consistency in style and grammar. This report contains a reorganized Texas constitution without substantive change which reorganizes and redrafts the provisions of the present constitution (except the Preamble and article I, the Bill of Rights, which are verbatim) without changing the legal rights, duties, and implications of the present document. The reorganized version is a more understandable document for the people of Texas and serves as a potential guide for those drafting substantive amendments in the future, both as to the effect of the amendments and as to possible style and organization.

THE DISORGANIZING EFFECT OF PAST AMENDMENTS The Legislative Department and State Finance

Today, almost two-thirds of article III, Legislative Department, deals with such subjects as state appropriations, state debt, financial assistance or compensation by either the state or political subdivisions, and local government finance and cooperation. Most of these items would logically be placed in the finance article (VIII) if the amendments had been added all at the same time.

An example of how this disorganization occurred over a span of time begins with section 49 of article III, which states:

Section 49. STATE DEBTS. No debt shall be created by or on behalf of the State, except to supply casual deficiencies of revenue, repel invasion, suppress insurrection, defend the State in war, or pay existing debt; and the debt created to supply deficiencies in the revenue, shall never exceed in the aggregate at any one time two hundred thousand dollars.

This provision was part of the original 1876 constitution and may well have been included in the legislative article because it was viewed as a limitation on the legislature's authority. While this section prohibited long-term "state debt" through bond issues, it did not prevent deficit spending. The depression of the 1930s introduced a period of annual deficits funded by state warrants. In 1941, the legislature proposed, and in 1942 the people adopted, an amendment establishing procedures to help overcome deficit spending. This amendment became section 49-a of the legislative article.

Five years later, the voters adopted an amendment which established a land program for veterans and authorized the state to sell bonds to fund the program. As this section authorized a specific state debt, thereby overriding section 49, the legislature placed the section as close to the state debt prohibition as possible—section 49-b.

Subsequent amendments to allow the sale of state bonds for other purposes followed the same pattern. In 1957, state debt for water development purposes was authorized. This specific override of section 49 became section 49-c. Additional bonding authority for water development resulted in section 49-d (1963) and section 49-d-l (1971). Section 49-e authorized state debt for park development (1967). In 1972, in an effort to make the state bonds more competitive on the bond market, the legislature submitted an amendment increasing the maximum interest rate on state bonds. Rather than amend each individual bond authorization, the legislature passed and the voters adopted a new section, section 65 to article III. This section increased the maximum permissible interest on all state bonds whose interest rate had been previously established in the constitution. Thus another state finance provision was added to the legislative article.

As a result of 100 years of a seemingly logical amendment process, almost all of the provisions prohibiting or authorizing the financial tool of state debt have become located in the article of the Texas constitution entitled "Legislative Department." Additionally, a person studying the constitutional provisions specifying state bonding authority would be led to believe that the maximum interest rate of the bonds would be those rates mandated in the individual bonding sections (sections 49-b, 49-c, 49-d, 49-d-l, and 49-e). There is nothing in those sections to alert the reader that the maximum interest rates have been raised to 6 percent by action of section 65 of article III. Similar initial restrictions on the legislature's actions, located in article III, brought similar results concerning state or local government assistance and compensation to individuals and local government finance and cooperation. Local Government

In 1876, the major unit of local government was the county, and much of the state was not settled sufficiently to have established county government. Today, local government includes not only counties but cities, towns, and special districts, and no part of the state is without an organized county. This change has brought about further organizational confusion in the provisions relating to the subject of local government. In fact, there is no article in the present constitution entitled "local government."

Article IX, Counties, contains three sections related to counties: (a) creation of counties, (b) removal of county seats, and (c) counties bordering the Gulf of Mexico. (The section which defines counties as legal subdivisions of the state is found in article XI, Municipal Corporations.) The remaining nine sections of article IX deal with the creation of special districts for hospital or airport purposes and intergovernmental responsibilities in providing mental health, mental retardation, and public health services. Special districts for the conservation and reclamation of natural resources, however, are authorized by article XVI, General Provisions.

Most of the provisions concerning county officers are located in article V, Judicial Department. However, the county tax assessor-collector is provided for in article VIII, Taxation and Revenue; and the county treasurer and county surveyor are authorized in article XVI, General Provisions. Article XVI also contains the provisions relating to county officers' compensation (section 61) and their terms of office (sections 64 and 65). Gaps and Duplications

Through a series of amendments, especially the "Deadwood" amendment of 1969, the present constitution contains many vacant sections. The extreme example is article XIII, Spanish and Mexican Land Titles, which contains no sections. All the sections were repealed in 1969 by adoption of the "Deadwood" amendment. Both article X, Railroads, and article XIV, Public Lands and Land Office, contain only one section. Article III contains eight vacant sections and article XVI contains 20. As if to compensate, article III also contains two sections numbered 52e and two sections numbered 61, and article VII has two sections numbered 16. Obsolete and Confusing Provisions

The present Texas constitution also has several provisions which, while making sense at the time of their passage, no longer have meaning or are so confusing as to mislead the reader. Many of these are in the nature of transition provisions, necessary at the time of passage but then almost immediately of no further legal standing. Two phrases which many sections have in common are (1) a statement of the effective date of the amendment (see for example, article III, sections 28, 49-b, and 65) or(2) a statement validating anticipatory legislation (see for example, sections 49-b, 49-c, 49-d, 49-d-l, 49-e, 50b, 50b-l, 51-b, and 51-d of article III). Other provisions which would more properly belong in a transition schedule include the two sections in article V (sections 14 and 27) which eased the transition from the previous court structure to the court structure contained in the 1876 constitution and a series of sections in article XVI which dealt with processes and writs pending at the time of adoption of the constitution, laws in effect in 1876, and existing rights at the time of adoption (sections 53, 48, and 18, respectively).

Additionally, there is a section in the constitution which authorizes the legislature to appropriate money to pay claims incurred by the John Tarleton Agriculture College pursuant to deficiency authorization by the governor in 1937. This section was adopted in 1946 without designation as to either a section or article number. Finally, section 1-c of article VIII states:

Sec. 1-c. EFFECTIVENESS OF RESOLUTION. Provided, however, the terms of this Resolution shall not be effective unless House Joint Resolution No. 24 is adopted by the people and in no event shall this Resolution go into effect until January 1, 1951.

Misleading Provisions

Not only is the organization confusing to anyone who is trying to gain information from the state's constitution, but many sections can mislead the reader. Reference already has been made to the fact that the maximum interest rates which are provided in the individual state bond sections usually are no longer valid because of adoption of a more recent section. Additionally, there is nothing in article VI, Suffrage, to indicate that most of the provisions have been modified by United States Supreme Court decisions. And, article III, section 25, still limits a county to not more than one senator despite the one-man, one-vote rule. Perhaps the best example of misleading or confusing provisions concerns the state ad valorem tax.

If a person began reading on page 1, the first provision which authorizes a state ad valorem tax would be found in article III, Legislative Department, section 51-b. Subsection (d) provides that:

(d) The State ad valorem tax on property of Two (2¢) Cents on the One Hundred ($100.00) Dollars valuation now levied under Section 51 of Article III of the

Constitution as amended by Section 17, of Article VII (adopted in 1947) is hereby specifically levied for the purposes of continuing the payment of Confederate pensions as provided under Article III, Section 51, and for the establishment and continued maintenance of the State Building Fund hereby created.

Checking the cross-references in section 51-b, the reader discovers that section 51 of article III has been amended and no longer levies a state ad valorem tax.

However, the following articles and sections contain provisions relating to the state ad valorem tax.

STATE AD VALOREM TAX PROVISIONS

Article Section Provision of Section Interaction With Other Sections
VII 17 Provides a 2¢ tax for benefit of Confederate pensions and State Building Fund The 2¢ tax is a substitute for the 7¢ tax previously levied in art. III, sec. 51, for Confederate pensions; 2¢ tax abolished by art. VIII, sec. 1-e
VII 17 Establishes a 10¢ tax for higher education None
VII 17 Reduces to 30¢ the maximum tax for general state purposes Art. VIII, sec. 9, establishes the maximum at 35¢; art. VIII, secs. 1-a and 1-e override
VII 3 Establishes a maximum of 35¢ tax for benefit of public schools Art. VIII, sec. 1-e, abolishes
VIII 1-a Prohibits any state tax for general purposes after January 1951 Overrides art. VII, sec. 17, and art. VIII, sec. 9
VIII 9 Establishes maximum of 35¢ tax for general state purposes Modified by art. VII, sec. 17; overridden by art. VIII, secs. 1-a and 1-e
VIII 1-e Prohibits all state ad valorem taxation after 1978 other than the 10¢ tax for higher education Overrides art. VII, secs. 3 and 17, and art. VIII, sec. 9

Almost none of the sections as added or modified by amendment indicate the changes which they make through their interaction with previously adopted sections by "cleaning up" the language of the provisions they amended.

All of these sections can be reorganized into two short provisions: (1) levying the 10¢ tax for certain institutions of higher education and (2) a statement that no other state ad valorem tax may be levied. Most of the other problems detailed in this introduction have been solved in a similar fashion in the Reorganized Texas Constitution Without Substantive Change.

EXPLANATION OF THE REORGANIZATION

This report contains a reorganized version of the Texas constitution of 1876, as amended and as it existed on January 1, 1977. The Preamble and article I, the Bill of Rights, are retained verbatim. The provisions of the remaining 16 articles of the Texas constitution are reorganized without substantive change into 10 articles. A cross-reference table, located in Appendix B, page 153, of this report, indicates the relocation and disposition of each section of those 16 articles. In addition, a notation follows each section or subsection of the reorganized version to indicate the source of that provision in the present constitution.

Where necessary for clarity, provisions were restated to reflect meanings established by various state court decisions. However, certain provisions of the legislative and voter qualifications and elections articles have been retained even though they have been affected by an amendment to the United States Constitution or rulings of federal courts.

A discussion of the issues and possible options has been located in Appendix A, page 137, of this report.

Provisions of the constitution which were duplicative of other provisions, whose purpose had expired, or which had been overridden by succeeding amendments have not been repeated in this document. The cross-reference table identifies these sections. In addition, copies of the present constitution marked line-by-line to indicate the disposition of each provision by means of marginal notations are available from the Texas Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations upon request.

A thorough effort has been made to preserve the meaning of all effective existing requirements of the Texas constitution. To help establish the accuracy of this report, various authorities on the Texas constitution and persons or organizations directly affected by the provisions of the present charter were asked to review all or part of this report as it was developed. Some recommended changes were received and incorporated. When disagreements occurred as to the meaning of existing provisions, an effort was made to adhere closely to the present language.

The voters of Texas adopted a constitutional amendment in 1972 which authorized the legislature to sit as a constitutional convention in 1974 and which mandated the legislature to create the Constitutional Revision Commission of 1973. The Constitutional Revision Commission established certain drafting guidelines which were maintained by the 1974 Constitutional Convention. These included the decision to have 11 articles, each containing only the subject matter relevant to the title of the article, and the concept of drafting the constitutional provisions in modern language readily understandable by the people of Texas. These two guidelines have been retained in this report.

REORGANIZED TEXAS CONSTITUTION WITHOUT SUBSTANTIVE CHANGE

PREAMBLE (Verbatim From Present Texas Constitution)

Humbly invoking the blessings of Almighty God, the people of the State of Texas, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

ARTICLE I

BILL OF RIGHTS (Verbatim From Present Texas Constitution)

That the general, great and essential principles of liberty and free government may be recognized and established, we declare:

Section 1. FREEDOM AND SOVEREIGNTY OF STATE. Texas is a free and independent State, subject only to the Constitution of the United States, and the maintenance of our free institutions and the perpetuity of the Union depend upon the preservation of the right of local self-government, unimpaired to all the States.

Section 2. INHERENT POLITICAL POWER; REPUBLICAN FORM OF GOVERNMENT. All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit. The faith of the people of Texas stands pledged to the preservation of a republican form of government, and, subject to this limitation only, they have at all times the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think expedient.

Section 3. EQUAL RIGHTS. All free men, when they form a social compact, have equal rights, and no man, or set of men, is entitled to exclusive separate public emoluments, or privileges, but in consideration of public services.

Section 3a. Equality under the law shall not be denied or abridged because of sex, race, color, creed, or national origin. This amendment is self-operative. (Added Nov. 7, 1972.)

Section 4. RELIGIOUS TESTS. No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.

Section 5. WITNESSES NOT DISQUALIFIED BY RELIGIOUS BELIEFS; OATHS AND AFFIRMATIONS. No person shall be disqualified to give evidence in any of the Courts of this State on account of his religious opinions, or for the want of any religious belief, but all oaths or affirmations shall be administered in the mode most binding upon the conscience, and shall be taken subject to the pains and penalties of perjury.

Section 6. FREEDOM OF WORSHIP. All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences. No man shall be compelled to attend, erect or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent. No human authority ought, in any case whatever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience in matters of religion, and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious society or mode of worship. But it shall be the duty of the Legislature to pass such laws as may be necessary to protect equally every religious denomination in the peaceable enjoyment of its own mode of public worship.

Section 7. APPROPRIATIONS FOR SECTARIAN PURPOSES. No money shall be appropriated, or drawn from the Treasury for the benefit of any sect, or religious society, theological or religious seminary; nor shall property belonging to the State be appropriated for any such purposes.

Section 8. FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND PRESS; LIBEL. Every person shall be at liberty to speak, write or publish his opinions on any subject, being responsible for the abuse of that privilege; and no law shall ever be passed curtailing the liberty of speech or of the press. In prosecutions for the publication of papers, investigating the conduct of officers, or men in public capacity, or when the matter published is proper for public information, the truth thereof may be given in evidence. And in all indictments for libels, the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court, as in other cases.

Section 9. SEARCHES AND SEIZURES. The people shall be secure in their persons, houses, papers and possessions, from all unreasonable seizures or searches, and no warrant to search any place, or to seize any person or thing, shall issue without describing them as near as may be, nor without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation.

Section 10. RIGHTS OF ACCUSED IN CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS. In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall have a speedy public trial by an impartial jury. He shall have the right to demand the nature and cause of the accusation against him, and to have a copy thereof. He shall not be compelled to give evidence against himself, and shall have the right of being heard by himself or counsel, or both, shall be confronted by the witnesses against him and shall have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, except that when the witness resides out of the State and the offense charged is a violation of any of the anti-trust laws of this State, the defendant and the State shall have the right to produce and have the evidence admitted by deposition, under such rules and laws as the Legislature may hereafter provide; and no person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense, unless on an indictment of a grand jury, except in cases in which the punishment is by fine or imprisonment, otherwise than in the penitentiary, in cases of impeachment, and in cases arising in the army or navy, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger. (As amended Nov. 5, 1918.)

Section 11. BAIL. All prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offenses, when the proof is evident; but this provision shall not be so construed as to prevent bail after indictment found upon examination of the evidence, in such manner as may be prescribed by law.

Section 11a. MULTIPLE CONVICTIONS; DENIAL OF BAIL. Any person accused of a felony less than capital in this State, who has been theretofore twice convicted of a felony, the second conviction being subsequent to the first, both in point of time of commission of the offense and conviction therefor may, after a hearing, and upon evidence substantially showing the guilt of the accused, be denied bail pending trial, by any judge of a court of record or magistrate in this State; provided, however, that if the accused is not accorded a trial upon the accusation within sixty (60) days from the time of his incarceration upon such charge, the order denying bail shall be automatically set aside, unless a continuance is obtained upon the motion or request of the accused; provided, further, that the right of appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeals of this State is expressly accorded the accused for a review of any judgment or order made hereunder. (Added Nov. 6, 1956.)

Section 12. HABEAS CORPUS. The writ of habeas corpus is a writ of right, and shall never be suspended. The Legislature shall enact laws to render the remedy speedy and effectual.

Section 13. EXCESSIVE BAIL OR FINES; CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT; REMEDY BY DUE COURSE OF LAW. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel or unusual punishment inflicted. All courts shall be open, and every person for an injury done him, in his lands, goods, person or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law.

Section 14. DOUBLE JEOPARDY. No person, for the same offense, shall be twice put in jeopardy of life or liberty, nor shall a person be again put upon trial for the same offense, after a verdict of not guilty in a court of competent jurisdiction.

Section 15. RIGHT OF TRIAL BY JURY. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate. The Legislature shall pass such laws as may be needed to regulate the same, and to maintain its purity and efficiency. Provided, that the Legislature may provide for the temporary commitment, for observation and/or treatment, of mentally ill persons not charged with a criminal offense, for a period of time not to exceed ninety (90) days, by order of the County Court without the necessity of a trial by jury. (As amended Aug. 24, 1935.)

Section 15-a. COMMITMENT OF PERSONS OF UNSOUND MIND. No person shall be committed as a person of unsound mind except on competent medical or psychiatric testimony. The Legislature may enact all laws necessary to provide for the trial, adjudication of insanity and commitment of persons of unsound mind and to provide for a method of appeal from judgments rendered in such cases. Such laws may provide for a waiver of trial by jury, in cases where the person under inquiry has not been charged with the commission of a criminal offense, by the concurrence of the person under inquiry, or his next of kin, and an attorney ad litem appointed by a judge of either the County or Probate Court of the county where the trial is being held, and shall provide for a method of service of notice of such trial upon the person under inquiry and of his right to demand a trial by jury. (Added Nov. 6, 1956.)

Section 16. BILLS OF ATTAINDER; EX POST FACTO OR RETROACTIVE LAWS; IMPAIRING OBLIGATION OF CONTRACTS. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, retroactive law, or any law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall be made.

Section 17. TAKING, DAMAGING OR DESTROYING PROPERTY FOR PUBLIC USE; SPECIAL PRIVILEGES AND IMMUNITIES; CONTROL OF PRIVILEGES AND FRANCHISES. No person's property shall be taken, damaged or destroyed for or applied to public use without adequate compensation being made, unless by the consent of such person; and, when taken, except for the use of the State, such compensation shall be first made, or secured by a deposit of money; and no irrevocable or uncontrollable grant of special privileges or immunities, shall be made; but all privileges and franchises granted by the Legislature, or created under its authority shall be subject to the control thereof.

Section 18. IMPRISONMENT FOR DEBT. No person shall ever be imprisoned for debt.

Section 19. DEPRIVATION OF LIFE, LIBERTY, ETC.; DUE COURSE OF LAW. No citizen of this State shall be deprived of life, liberty, property, privileges or immunities, or in any manner disfranchised, except by the due course of the law of the land.

Section 20. OUTLAWRY OR TRANSPORTATION FOR OFFENSE. No citizen shall be outlawed, nor shall any person be transported out of the State for any offense committed within the same.

Section 21. CORRUPTION OF BLOOD; FORFEITURE; SUICIDES. No conviction shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture of estate, and the estates of those who destroy their own lives shall descend or vest as in case of natural death.

Section 22. TREASON. Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against it, or adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort; and no person shall be convicted of treason except on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

Section 23. RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.

Section 24. MILITARY SUBORDINATE TO CIVIL AUTHORITY. The military shall at all times be subordinate to the civil authority.

Section 25. QUARTERING SOLDIERS IN HOUSES. No soldier shall in time of peace be quartered in the house of any citizen without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war but in a manner prescribed by law.

Section 26. PERPETUITIES AND MONOPOLIES; PRIMOGENITURE OR ENTAILMENTS. Perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a free government, and shall never be allowed, nor shall the law of primogeniture or entailments ever be in force in this State.

Section 27. RIGHT OF ASSEMBLY; PETITION FOR REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES. The citizens shall have the right, in a peaceable manner, to assemble together for their common good; and apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances or other purposes, by petition, address or remonstrance.

Section 28. SUSPENSION OF LAWS. No power of suspending laws in this State shall be exercised except by the Legislature.

Section 29. PROVISIONS OF BILL OF RIGHTS EXCEPTED FROM POWERS OF GOVERNMENT; TO FOREVER REMAIN INVIOLATE. To guard against transgressions of the high powers herein delegated, we declare that everything in this "Bill of Rights" is excepted out of the general powers of government, and shall forever remain inviolate, and all laws contrary thereto, or to the following provisions, shall be void.

ARTICLE II

SEPARATION OF POWERS

Section 1. SEPARATION OF POWERS. The powers of the government of the State of Texas are divided among three distinct departments: legislative, executive, and judicial. Except as otherwise expressly authorized by this constitution, members of one department may not exercise any power properly attached to either of the others. [II, 1]

ARTICLE III THE LEGISLATURE

Section 1. THE LEGISLATIVE POWER. The legislative power of the State of Texas is vested in a senate and a house of representatives, together styled "The Legislature of Texas." [III, 1]

Section 2. COMPOSITION. The senate consists of 31 members. The house of representatives consists of 150 members. [III, 2]

Section 3. QUALIFICATION OF MEMBERS, (a) To be eligible for election to the senate, a person must be a qualified voter and immediately preceding election have been a resident of this state for five years and of the senatorial district for one year. To be eligible to serve in the senate, a person must be at least 26 years old. [III, 6]

(b) To be eligible for election to the house, a person must be a qualified voter and immediately preceding election have been a resident of this state for two years and of the representative district for one year. To be eligible to serve in the house, a person must be at least 21 years old. [III, 7]

(c) The office of a member of the legislature becomes vacant if the member changes residence from the district from which elected. [III, 23]

(d) A person holding a lucrative office under this state, the United States, or a foreign government is not eligible for election to the legislature during the term of that office. [III, 19]

(e) A person holding or exercising the powers of an office of profit or trust under the United States, or any one of them, or a foreign government is not eligible to serve in the legislature. [XVI, 12]

Section 4. ELECTION AND TERMS OF MEMBERS, (a) Senators and representatives are elected by the qualified voters of their respective districts at a statewide general election. [III, 3, 4, 27]

(b) Each senator serves a term of four years beginning on the date prescribed by law for convening the legislature in regular session following election. The qualified voters elect a new senate after each statewide senatorial redistricting. The senators shall decide by lot which serve four-year terms and which serve two-year terms, so that one-half will be elected every two years thereafter. [III, 3]

(c) Each representative serves a term of two years beginning on the date prescribed by law for convening the legislature in regular session following election. [III, 4]

(d) Vacancies in the senate and house of representatives are filled by special election. When a vacancy occurs, the governor shall issue a writ of election to fill the vacancy. If the governor does not issue the writ within 20 days after the vacancy occurs, the returning officer of the district in which the vacancy exists shall order the election. [III, 13]

Section 5. REDISTRICTING, (a) At its first regular session following each federal decennial census, the legislature shall divide the state into senatorial and representative districts. [III, 28]

(b) Each senatorial and representative district must be composed of contiguous territory. [III, 25, 26]

(c) Senatorial districts must be single member and contain as nearly as practicable an equal number of qualified voters. No county is entitled to more than one senator. [III, 25]

(d) Representative districts may be single member or multimember. Single-member districts must contain as nearly as practicable a number of inhabitants equal to one/one hundred fiftieth of the population of the state as determined by the federal decennial census. Multimember districts must contain as nearly as practicable a number of inhabitants equal to the number of representatives in the district multiplied by one/one hundred fiftieth of the population of the state as determined by the federal decennial census. County lines are to be respected in drawing representative district lines. A county the population of which entitles it to a representative must be a separate representative district. A county the population of which is less than that required for a representative must be joined to one or more other counties to achieve a population total entitled to a representative. If the population of a county is sufficient to provide for one or more districts, only population in excess of that required for complete districts may be added to population of other counties to form a representative district. In no event may a county have more than seven representatives unless the population of the county exceeds 700,000 in which case a county may have an additional representative for each additional 100,000 inhabitants. [III, 26, 26a]

(e) If the legislature fails to redistrict the state as required by Subsection (a) of this section, a legislative redistricting board consisting of the lieutenant governor, speaker of the house of representatives, attorney general, comptroller of public accounts, and the commissioner of the general land office convenes. Three members of the board constitute a quorum. The board shall convene in Austin within 90 days after adjournment of the regular session at which the legislature fails to redistrict the state. The board shall complete the necessary redistricting within 60 days after convening. The redistricting plan must be in writing, signed by at least three members of the board and filed with the secretary of state. The plan has the force and effect of law and takes effect at the next statewide general election. The Supreme Court of Texas has jurisdiction by extraordinary writ to compel the board to comply with this subsection. The legislature shall provide funds for the board's clerical, technical, and other expenses. While serving on the board, the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the house of representatives receive the per diem and travel allowances that they would receive for attending a special session of the legislature. [III, 28]

Section 6. COMPENSATION. Members of the legislature are entitled to receive:

(1) an annual salary of not more than $7,200;

(2) a per diem of $30 a day for each day of each regular session and for each day of each special session; and

(3) mileage at the rate prescribed by law for employees of the State of Texas. [III, 24]

Section 7. SESSIONS, (a) The legislature shall convene in regular session each odd-numbered year on a date prescribed by law. A regular session may not exceed 140 days. [III, 5, 24]

(b) Special sessions may be called only by the governor and may not exceed 30 days. The legislature in special session may legislate only on subjects submitted by the governor. [III, 5, 40]

(c) Sessions of each house of the legislature, except executive sessions of the senate, must be open to the public. [III, 16]

(d) Neither house, without the consent of the other, may adjourn or recess for more than three days or to any other place than where the legislature is in session. [III, 17]

(e) The legislature shall hold its sessions in the City of Austin, which is the seat of government. [III, 58]

Section 8. ORGANIZATION AND PROCEDURE, (a) Each house is the judge of the qualifications and election of its own members, but contested elections are to be determined as provided by law. [III, 8]

(b) Each house determines the rules of its own proceedings. Except for the election of house or senate officers, elections must be by voice vote. [III, 9, 11, 41]

(c) At the beginning and end of each session and at such other times as may be necessary, the senate shall elect from among its members a president pro tempore who shall perform the duties of the office of lieutenant governor when the lieutenant governor is absent or disabled or when the office is vacant. [III, 9]

(d) At the beginning of each regular session, the house of representatives shall organize temporarily and elect a speaker from among its members. [III, 9]

(e) Two-thirds of the membership of each house constitutes a quorum for transacting business, but fewer members may recess or adjourn from day to day and may compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide. [III, 10]

(f) Each house shall prepare and publish a journal of its proceedings. At the request of any three members present, the votes on any question must be recorded in the journal. [III, 12]

(g) Each house may punish a member for disorderly conduct and may expel a member by an affirmative two-thirds vote, but may not expel a member a second time for the same offense. [III, 11]

(h) During a session, each house may imprison a nonmember for not more than 48 hours for disrespectful or disorderly conduct in its presence or for obstruction of its proceedings. [III, 15]

(i) The first 30 days of a regular session must be devoted to introducing bills or resolutions, acting on emergency appropriations, passing on recess appointees of the governor, or considering emergency matters submitted by the governor in special messages. During the second 30 days, each house shall consider emergency matters submitted by the governor in special messages, and committees of each house shall hold hearings on bills, resolutions, or other matters that are pending. During the succeeding 60 days, each house shall act on matters that are pending and on emergency matters submitted by the governor in special messages. Notwithstanding the order of business prescribed by this subsection, either house may determine its order of business by an affirmative four-fifths vote of its membership. [III, 5]

Section 9. LEGISLATIVE IMMUNITY, (a) A member of the legislature may not be questioned in any other place for speech or debate occurring in either house. [III, 21]

(b) Except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace, a member of the legislature is privileged from arrest during a session of the legislature and while traveling to and from a session. [III, 14]

Section 10. CONFLICT OF INTEREST, (a) A member of the legislature may not vote for the appointment of another member to any office filled by the legislature except as otherwise provided in this constitution. [III, 18]

(b) During the term for which elected, a member of the legislature is not eligible to hold (1) a civil office of profit under this state if the office is created or its emoluments increased during the term, or (2) an office or position the appointment to which is made or confirmed by either house. For purposes of this subsection a member's term expires on December 31 of the last full calendar year of the term. [III, 18]

(c) A member of the legislature may not hold another office or position of profit under this state or the United States except that of notary public. [XVI, 40]

(d) A member of the legislature privately interested in a bill, resolution, or other matter before the legislature shall disclose that interest and may not vote on the bill, resolution, or other matter. [III, 22]

(e) A member of the legislature may not have a direct or indirect interest in a contract with a county or the state if the contract is authorized by a law enacted during the term for which the member was elected. [III, 18]

Section 11. BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS, (a) A law may be enacted only by bill. Each law must contain the following enacting clause: "Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas." [III, 29, 30]

(b) A bill other than a revenue bill may originate in either house; a revenue bill must originate in the house of representatives. After a bill passes one house, the other may amend or reject it; but neither house may so amend a bill as to change its original purpose. [III, 30, 31, 33]

(c) A bill must be limited to a single subject. The subject must be expressed in the title of the bill. If a bill that becomes law embraces a subject that is not expressed in the title, only the portion of the law concerning the subject not expressed in the title is void. A general appropriations bill must be limited to the subject of appropriations. A statutory revision bill must be limited to that subject. [III, 35, 43]

(d) A bill, amendatory in form, must set out the complete section or sections, as amended, of the statute it amends. A bill reviving an act must set out the complete text of the act revived. [III, 36]

(e) Before a bill may be considered, it must have been referred to a committee and reported at least three days before adjournment sine die. [III, 37]

(f) Before a bill becomes law, it must be read in each house on three separate days with free debate allowed. A house by a record affirmative four-fifths vote of the members present may suspend this requirement in case of imperative public necessity, which necessity must be stated in the bill. [III, 32]

(g) If a bill or resolution is considered and defeated in either house, no bill or resolution containing the same substance may be passed during the same session. [III, 34]

(h) The presiding officer of each house shall sign in its presence each bill and joint resolution passed by the legislature after the title of the bill or joint resolution is publicly read. The fact of signing must be recorded in the journal. [III, 38]

(i) No law except the general appropriations act may take effect earlier than 90 days after adjournment of the session at which it was enacted. The legislature by a record affirmative two-thirds vote of the membership of each house may authorize an earlier effective date in case of imperative public necessity, which necessity must be stated in the law. [III, 39]

(j) The legislature shall provide for periodic revising, digesting, and publication of the civil and criminal laws. These digests and revisions are not subject to Subsection (d) of this section. [III, 43]

Section 12. ACTION ON BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS, (a) Each bill that passes both houses of the legislature must be presented to the governor. The governor may approve the bill by signing it or may veto the bill by returning it with objections to the house in which it originated. That house shall enter the objections in its journal and reconsider the bill for passage over the veto. If the bill passes that house on reconsideration by a record affirmative two-thirds vote of the members present, it must be sent with the governor's objections to the other house, which shall enter the objections in its journal and reconsider the bill for passage over the veto. If the bill passes that house on reconsideration by a record affirmative two-thirds vote of the members of that house, the bill becomes law. If the governor fails to veto a bill within 10 days (Sundays excepted) after it is presented, the bill becomes law. If the legislature by its adjournment prevents a veto, a bill becomes law unless within 20 days after adjournment the governor files the bill and objections with the secretary of state and by proclamation gives public notice of the filing, [IV, 14]

(b) The governor within 10 days (Sundays excepted) after presentation of a bill that contains several items of appropriation may veto one or more items of appropriation in the bill. Portions of the bill not vetoed become law. A statement of the items vetoed must be attached to the bill when the governor signs it. If the legislature is in session, a copy of the statement must be transmitted to the house in which the bill originated. Each vetoed item must be reconsidered separately and may become law in the same manner as a vetoed bill. If the legislature by its adjournment prevents an item veto, the items become law unless within 20 days after adjournment the governor files the bill and objections to any items with the secretary of state and by proclamation gives public notice of the filing. [IV, 14]

(c) The veto procedure required by Subsection (a) of this section applies equally to any other action of the legislature requiring the concurrence of both houses except the question of adjournment. [IV, 15]

Section 13. LOCAL AND SPECIAL LAWS, (a) Except as otherwise provided in this constitution, the legislature may not enact a local or special law:

(1) authorizing the creation, extension, or impairment of liens;

(2) regulating the affairs of counties, cities, towns, wards, or school districts;

(3) changing the names of persons or places;

(4) changing the venue in civil or criminal cases;

(5) authorizing the laying out, opening, altering, or maintaining of roads, highways, streets, or alleys;

(6) relating to ferries or bridges, or incorporating ferry or bridge companies, except for the erection of bridges spanning streams that form the boundaries of this state;

(7) vacating roads, town plats, streets, or alleys;

(8) relating to cemeteries, graveyards, or public grounds not of the state;

(9) authorizing the adoption or legitimation of children;

(10) locating or changing county seats;

(11) incorporating cities, towns, or villages or changing their charters;

(12) providing for the opening and conducting of elections or fixing or changing voting places;

(13) granting divorces;

(14) creating offices or prescribing the powers and duties of officers in counties, cities, towns, election districts, or school districts;

(15) changing the law of descent or succession;

(16) regulating the practice or jurisdiction of, or changing the rules of evidence in a judicial proceeding or inquiry before, courts, justices of the peace, sheriffs, commissioners, arbitrators, or other tribunals;

(17) providing or changing methods for the collection of debts or the enforcement of judgments; or prescribing the effect of judicial sales of real estate;

(18) regulating the fees or extending the powers or duties of aldermen, justices of the peace, magistrates, or constables;

(19) regulating the management of public schools, the construction or repair of school houses, or money-raising for those purposes;

(20) fixing the rate of interest;

(21) affecting the estates of minors or persons under disability;

(22) remitting fines, penalties, or forfeitures or refunding money legally paid into the treasury;

(23) exempting property from taxation;

(24) regulating labor, trade, mining, or manufacturing;

(25) declaring any named person of age;

(26) extending the time for the assessment or collection of taxes or otherwise relieving an assessor or collector of taxes from the due performance of official duties or the securities of the assessor or collector from liability;

(27) giving effect to an informal or invalid will or deed;

(28) summoning or empanelling a grand or petit jury;

(29) providing for limitation of a civil or criminal action;

(30) incorporating a railroad or other work of internal improvement; or

(31) in any other case in which a general law is or can be made applicable. [III, 56]

(b) No bill proposing a local or special law may be passed unless notice of the substance of the bill and the intention to introduce it have been published in the affected locality in the manner prescribed by law and at least 30 days prior to introduction. Evidence that the notice was published must be exhibited in the legislature before the bill is passed. [III, 57]

Section 14. IMPEACHMENT, (a) The house of representatives has the sole power of impeachment. [XV, 1]

(b) An officer against whom articles of impeachment have been preferred is suspended from the exercise of the duties of the office while impeachment is pending. If the governor is suspended, the lieutenant governor acts as governor. If the lieutenant governor is suspended, the president pro tempore of the senate acts as lieutenant governor. In other cases the governor may make a temporary appointment to fill the vacancy during suspension. [IV, 16, 17; XV, 5]

(c) Impeachment of an elected officer of the executive department or of a justice or judge of the supreme court, court of criminal appeals, a court of civil appeals, or a district court is tried by the senate. Senators shall take an oath or affirmation to try impartially the person impeached. An affirmative two-thirds vote of the members present is required to convict a person of impeachment charges. [XV, 2, 3]

(d) A judgment of conviction following impeachment may not extend beyond removal from office and disqualification from holding an office of honor, profit, or trust under this state. A judgment of conviction following impeachment does not bar criminal prosecution for the conduct for which convicted. [XV, 4]

Section 15. ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE. An affirmative two-thirds vote of the members present constitutes consent to an appointment that the constitution requires to be with the advice and consent of the senate. [IV, 12]

ARTICLE IV THE EXECUTIVE

Section 1. OFFICERS CONSTITUTING THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT. The governor is the chief executive officer of the state. Officers of the executive department are the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller of public accounts, treasurer, commissioner of the general land office, and secretary of state. [IV, 1]

Section 2. SELECTION AND TERMS OF OFFICE, (a) The governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller of public accounts, treasurer, commissioner of the general land office, and each statutory state officer elected statewide whose term is not otherwise provided for in this constitution, are elected at a statewide general election for four-year terms. Separate votes are cast for candidates for governor and lieutenant governor. Quadrennial elections for officers of the executive department start with the statewide general election in 1974. [IV, 2, 4, 16, 22, 23]

(b) The secretary of state is appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate and serves during the term of service of the governor. [IV, 21]

Section 3. MEMBERS OF STATE BOARDS: TERMS AND VACANCIES. The legislature by law may prescribe six-year terms for members of state administrative boards established by law, provided that the terms of one-third of a board's members expire every two years. Vacancies on these boards are filled as provided by law. [XVI, 30a]

Section 4. RETURNS OF ELECTION, (a) Unless otherwise provided by law, the returns for elected officers specified in Section 1 of this article are to be sealed and sent to the secretary of state. The secretary of state shall deliver these returns to the speaker of the house of representatives. The legislature shall meet in joint session during the first week of a regular session to canvass these returns. The speaker of the house of representatives shall preside and, with the approval of the legislature, shall certify the election of the candidate who receives the most votes for the office and is qualified under this constitution. [IV, 3]

(b) If there is a tie for the most votes for an office specified in Section 1, the legislature shall immediately resolve the tie by a joint vote of both houses. [IV, 3]

(c) If an election for an office specified in Section 1 is contested, the legislature shall determine the contest in a joint session of both houses. [IV, 3]

Section 5. GOVERNOR'S ELIGIBILITY AND INSTALLATION, (a) To be eligible to the office of governor, a person must be a citizen of the United States, at least 30 years old, and have been a resident of the state for at least five years immediately preceding election. [IV, 4]

(b) The governor is inaugurated on the first Tuesday after the organization of the legislature or as soon thereafter as practicable.

[IV, 4]

Section 6. GUBERNATORIAL SUCCESSION, (a) If at the time of inauguration the governor-elect fails to assume the office, the lieutenant governor-elect shall serve as governor until the governor-elect assumes the office or until the next statewide general election. [IV, 3a]

(b) If after inauguration the governor is unable to discharge the duties of the office or is absent from the state, the lieutenant governor shall serve as governor until the governor's inability or absence terminates or until another is chosen at the next statewide general election and duly qualified. [IV, 16]

(c) If both the governor and lieutenant governor are absent from the state, are unable to discharge the duties of the office of governor, or do not assume the office, the president pro tempore of the senate shall serve as governor until the inability or absence of either the governor or lieutenant governor terminates or until superseded by a governor or lieutenant governor. [IV, 17]

(d) If the office of governor is vacant, the lieutenant governor succeeds to the office of governor until another is chosen at the next statewide general election and duly qualified. [IV, 16]

(e) If both the offices of governor and lieutenant governor are vacant, the president pro tempore of the senate succeeds to the office of governor until superseded by a governor or lieutenant governor. [IV, 17]

(f) The legislature may provide by law for further succession to the office of governor. [IV, 3a]

Section 7. COMPENSATION OF STATE OFFICERS, (a) The governor is entitled to an annual salary of not less than $12,000 and to the use of the Governor's Mansion and furnishings. A person who serves as governor or succeeds to the office is entitled to compensation during the period of service only in the amount the governor would have received for the same period. [III, 61; IV, 5, 17]

(b) The lieutenant governor is entitled to receive the same compensation and mileage as members of the senate while serving as president of the senate. [IV, 17]

(c) The attorney general is entitled to an annual salary of not less than $10,000. [IV, 22; III, 61]

(d) The secretary of state, comptroller of public accounts, treasurer, and commissioner of the general land office are each entitled to an annual salary of not less than $6,000. These officers shall deposit all fees, costs, and other perquisites of office in the state treasury. [IV, 21, 22, 23; III, 61]

(e) Statutory state officers elected statewide to four-year terms are entitled to an annual salary. These officers shall deposit all fees, costs, and other perquisites of office in the state treasury. [IV, 23]

Section 8. DUAL OFFICE HOLDING AND EMPLOYMENT. While holding the office of governor, a person may not (1) hold another civil, military, or corporate office; (2) practice a profession for compensation or promise of compensation; or (3) receive compensation or a promise of compensation for the performance or promise of performance of a service. [IV, 6]

Section 9. COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF; CALLING FORTH MILITIA. The governor is commander-in-chief of the military forces of the state except when they are called into actual service of the United States. The governor may call forth the militia to execute the laws of the state, to suppress insurrection, or to repel invasion. [IV, 7]

Section 10. EXECUTION OF LAWS; CONDUCT OF BUSINESS WITH OTHER STATES AND THE UNITED STATES. The governor shall cause the laws to be faithfully executed and shall conduct, in person or in the manner prescribed by law, all intercourse and business of the state with other states or the United States. [IV, 10]

Section 11. CONVENING THE LEGISLATURE IN SPECIAL SESSION. The governor, on extraordinary occasions, may call the legislature into special session stating specifically the purpose of the session. The legislature shall convene at the seat of government unless the governor designates a different place because the seat of government is held by the public enemy or disease is prevalent there. The legislature may consider only those matters that the governor specifies in the call or subsequently presents to the legislature. [IV, 8; III, 40]

Section 12. GOVERNOR'S MESSAGE. At the beginning of each legislative session and at the end of the gubernatorial term, the governor shall give the legislature information on the condition of the state and may recommend legislative action. The message of the governor must be accompanied by a statement, with vouchers, of all public money received and expended from funds subject to gubernatorial control. At the beginning of each regular session, the governor shall present to the legislature an estimate of the amount of tax revenue required for all purposes. [IV, 9]

Section 13. ACCOUNTS AND REPORTS TO GOVERNOR. Each officer of the executive department or officer or manager of a state institution shall submit to the governor under oath a semiannual report of receipts, disbursements, and services performed. The governor at any time may inspect the books or accounts of an office of the executive department or a state institution or require written information under oath on any subject relating to the responsibilities or management of an office. An officer or manager who willfully makes a false report or gives false information is guilty of perjury and is to be punished accordingly and removed from office. [IV, 24]

Section 14. BOARD OF PARDONS AND PAROLES: REPRIEVES, COMMUTATIONS, AND PARDONS; REMISSION OF FINES AND FORFEITURES, (a) The Board of Pardons and Paroles is composed of three members. Members serve six-year terms. One member is appointed every two years. To be eligible for appointment, a person must have been a resident citizen of the state for at least two years immediately prior to appointment. The governor, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, and presiding justice of the court of criminal appeals shall each appoint one member with the advice and consent of the senate. If a vacancy occurs, it is filled in the same manner by the officer making the original appointment. Appointments made while the legislature is not in session are subject to the advice and consent of the senate during the following session. [IV, 11]

(b) The governor may grant one reprieve in a capital case for a period not to exceed 30 days, may revoke paroles or conditional pardons, and with the advice and consent of the legislature, may grant reprieves, commutations, or pardons in the case of treason. After conviction and on the written and signed recommendation of a majority of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, the governor may grant reprieves, commutations, or pardons for criminal offenses other than treason or impeachment. As provided by law, the governor may remit fines or forfeitures on the written recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Paroles. [IV, 11]

(c) The Board of Pardons and Paroles shall keep a record of the reasons for its actions. The legislature may enact parole laws and may regulate procedure before the board. [IV, 11]

Section 15. LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR. The lieutenant governor must be eligible to the office of governor. The lieutenant governor, by virtue of the office, is president of the senate and may cast a deciding vote when the senate is equally divided. The lieutenant governor may debate or vote on all questions when the senate is sitting in committee of the whole. [IV, 16]

Section 16. ATTORNEY GENERAL, (a) The attorney general shall represent the state in those civil actions before the Supreme Court of Texas in which the state may be a party. [IV, 22]

(b) The attorney general shall especially inquire into the charter rights of private corporations and shall take such action in the courts as may be proper and necessary to prevent a private corporation from exercising a power not authorized by law. When sufficient cause exists and unless otherwise expressly directed by law, the attorney general shall seek a judicial forfeiture of a corporate charter. [IV, 22]

(c) The attorney general shall give legal advice in writing to the governor and other executive officers when requested by them and perform other duties as may be required by law. [IV, 22]

Section 17. COMMISSIONER OF THE GENERAL LAND OFFICE. The commissioner of the general land office shall administer at the seat of government a general land office in which all land titles that emanate from the state must be registered and shall perform other duties as provided by law. [IV, 23; XIV, 1]

Section 18. SECRETARY OF STATE, (a) The secretary of state shall authenticate the publication of laws. The secretary of state

shall maintain a register of the official acts and proceedings of the governor, with all documents or minutes relating to each act or proceeding, and shall transmit them to the legislature or either house of the legislature when requested. [IV, 21]

(b) The secretary of state shall appoint for each county an adequate number of notaries public qualified by law to perform the duties of that office as provided by law. [IV, 26]

(c) The secretary of state shall perform other duties as provided by law. [IV, 21]

Section 19. OTHER OFFICERS OF THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT. The comptroller of public accounts, the treasurer, and statutory state officers elected statewide shall perform duties as provided by law. [IV, 23]

Section 20. RAILROAD COMMISSION. The railroad commission consists of three commissioners elected at a statewide general election for six-year terms. One commissioner is elected every two years. If a vacancy occurs, it is filled by appointment by the governor until the next statewide general election. The legislature by law may prescribe qualifications for the office of commissioner. The commission has the authority and performs the duties prescribed by law. The legislature by law may abolish the commission. [XVI, 30]

Section 21. VACANCIES IN STATE OR DISTRICT OFFICES, (a) Except as otherwise provided in this constitution and unless otherwise provided by law, the governor shall fill all vacancies in state and district offices by appointment with the advice and consent of the senate. The term of an officer appointed to a vacancy in an elective office ends at the next statewide general election. [IV, 12]

(b) If the legislature is not in session when a vacancy occurs, the governor or other appointing authority may make an appointment to fill the office. A nominee for the office must be submitted to the senate for confirmation during the first 10 days of the next session of the legislature. If the nominee is rejected by the senate, the office is vacant. [IV, 12]

(c) The governor or other appointing authority shall submit nominees to a vacant office until one is confirmed or the session ends. If no nominee to an office is confirmed during the session, the vacant office may be filled by appointment until the next session of the senate or, in the case of an elective office, until the next statewide general election if that occurs sooner. A rejected nominee may not be appointed to the office. [IV, 12]

Section 22. SEAL OF STATE AND COMMISSIONS. The seal of the state is a star of five points encircled by olive and live oak branches and the words "The State of Texas." The seal of state is kept by the secretary of state and used by that officer officially under the direction of the governor. All commissions are in the name and by the authority of the State of Texas, sealed with the seal of the state, signed by the governor, and attested by the secretary of state. [IV, 19, 20]

Section 23. RESIDENCE OF STATE OFFICERS, (a) Unless the legislature by law requires or authorizes a different place, the governor shall reside where the legislature is meeting and at other times at the seat of government. [IV, 13]

(b) All elected officers listed in Section 1 of this article, except the lieutenant governor, and all statutory state officers elected statewide to four-year terms shall reside at the seat of government during their terms of office. [IV, 22, 23]

Section 24. STATE BUILDING COMMISSION, (a) The State Building Commission consists of the governor, the attorney general, and a state officer designated by law, whose appointment is subject to the advice and consent of the senate unless already confirmed in that designated office. [III, 51-b]

(b) As regulated by law and on appropriation by the legislature, the State Building Commission may spend money from the State Building Fund to acquire property for and to build, remodel, and equip state buildings; may salvage and dispose of property unsuitable for state purposes; and may make necessary contracts to carry out the purposes of this subsection. [III, 51-b]

Section 25. VETERANS' LAND BOARD. The Veterans' Land Board consists of the commissioner of the general land office and two citizens of Texas, one with knowledge of the affairs of veterans and one with knowledge of finance. Citizen members serve four-year terms.

One member is appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate every two years. Citizen member vacancies are filled by gubernatorial appointment for the unexpired term. Each citizen member shall make bond in an amount prescribed by law. The commissioner of the general land office is chairman of the board and administrator of the Veterans' Land Program under regulations prescribed by law. In the absence of the commissioner, the chief clerk of the general land office acts as chairman of the board. [III, 49-b]

Section 26. WATER DEVELOPMENT BOARD. The Water Development Board consists of the number of members prescribed by law. The members are appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate for terms prescribed by law. [III, 49-c]

ARTICLE V THE JUDICIARY

Section 1. JUDICIAL POWER, (a) The judicial power is vested in a supreme court, a court of criminal appeals, courts of civil appeals, district courts, county courts, commissioners courts, justice of the peace courts, and such other courts as may be established by law. The legislature may conform the jurisdiction of district and other inferior courts to the jurisdiction of such other courts. [V, 1]

(b) Power to change venue is vested in the courts, subject to regulation by law. [III, 45]

(c) Courts having original jurisdiction of criminal cases may, after conviction, suspend sentence, place a defendant on probation, or reimpose sentence, as provided by law. [IV, 11A]

(d) All judges are conservators of the peace throughout the state. [V, 12, 15]

(e) All writs and process shall be styled "The State of Texas." All prosecutions shall be carried on in the name and by the authority of the State of Texas and shall conclude "Against the peace and dignity of the State." [V, 12]

Section 2. SUPREME COURT, (a) The supreme court consists of a chief justice and eight associate justices. Five justices constitute a quorum. The court may sit in sections on preliminary matters, but the concurrence of five members is necessary for decision of a case. [V, 2]

(b) The supreme court shall sit at the seat of government. Its term is the calendar year. [V, 3a]

(c) The supreme court has statewide jurisdiction. [V, 3]

(d) The "supreme court has appellate jurisdiction, subject to limitation and regulation by law, of questions of law arising in cases of which the courts of civil appeals have appellate jurisdiction, but appellate decisions of courts of civil appeals on all questions of fact are conclusive. [V, 3, 6]

(e) The supreme court has appellate jurisdiction as provided by law of appeals directly to the supreme court from an order of any trial court granting or denying an interlocutory or permanent injunction on the ground of the constitutionality or unconstitutionality of a state statute, or the validity or invalidity of an administrative order issued by a state agency under a state statute. [V, 3b]

(f) The supreme court has authority to ascertain such matters of fact as may be necessary to the exercise of its jurisdiction. [V, 3]

(g) The supreme court has original jurisdiction as provided by law to issue writs of quo warranto and mandamus, except against the governor. [V, 3]

(h) The supreme court or any justice thereof may issue writs of habeas corpus as provided by law. [V, 3]

(i) The supreme court or any justice thereof may issue, subject to regulation by law, writs of mandamus, procedendo, certiorari, and such writs as may be necessary to enforce the jurisdiction of the court. [V, 3]

Section 3. COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS, (a) The court of criminal appeals consists of a presiding judge and four other judges. Three judges constitute a quorum, and the concurrence, of three is necessary for decision of a case. [V, 4]

(b) The court of criminal appeals shall sit at the seat of government. Its term is from the first Monday in October through the last Saturday in September. [V, 5]

(c) The court of criminal appeals has statewide appellate jurisdiction in criminal cases subject to limitation and regulation by law. [V, 5, 16]

(d) The court of criminal appeals has authority to ascertain such matters of fact as may be necessary to the exercise of its jurisdiction. [V, 5]

(e) The court of criminal appeals or any judge thereof may issue writs of habeas corpus, and may issue, subject to regulation by law, such writs as may be necessary to enforce the jurisdiction of the court. [V, 5]

Section 4. COURTS OF CIVIL APPEALS, (a) The legislature shall divide the state into as many supreme judicial districts as may be necessary and in each district shall establish a court of civil appeals consisting of a chief justice and two associate justices. [V, 6]

(b) Each court of civil appeals shall sit in its district at a time and place prescribed by law. [V, 6]

(c) Each court of civil appeals has appellate jurisdiction within its district of all civil cases of which district or county courts have original or appellate jurisdiction, subject to limitation and regulation by law. [V, 6, 16]

(d) Each court of civil appeals may have other original or appellate jurisdiction as provided by law. [V, 6, 8]

Section 5. DISTRICT COURTS. (a) The legislature shall divide the state into judicial districts and in each district establish a district court and provide for an elected judge in that district. [V, 7]

(b) Except as otherwise provided by law, each district court shall sit at the county seat of the county in which the case is pending. [V, 7]

(c) Each district court shall hold such terms as may be provided by general or local law, but at least twice each year must hold regular terms of court in each county in the district. [V, 7]

(d) Each district court has original jurisdiction of all:

(1) felonies;

(2) misdemeanors involving official misconduct;

(3) causes or actions in which the amount in controversy exceeds $500 exclusive of interest;

(4) suits in behalf of the state to recover penalties, forfeitures, or escheats;

(5) cases of divorce;

(6) suits to recover damages for defamation of character;

(7) suits for trial of title to land and for the enforcement of liens thereon;

(8) suits for the trial of the right to property levied upon by virtue of any writ of execution, sequestration, or attachment if the value of the property levied on equals or exceeds $500;

(9) contested elections; and

(10) causes of action for which a remedy or jurisdiction is not otherwise provided. [V, 8]

(e) Each district court has:

(1) original jurisdiction and general control over executors, administrators, guardians, and minors, subject to regulation by law;

(2) appellate jurisdiction and general control over probate matters within the jurisdiction of the county court unless otherwise provided by general or local law;

(3) general probate jurisdiction unless otherwise provided by general or local law; and

(4) appellate jurisdiction over the county commissioners court subject to limitation and regulation by law. [V, 8, 16]

(f) The legislature by local or general law may increase, diminish, or eliminate the jurisdiction of either the district or county court in probate matters, but shall conform the jurisdiction of other affected courts to the change. [V, 8]

(g) Each district court has such other original or appellate jurisdiction as may be provided by law. [V, 8]

(h) Each district court may issue injunctions; writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, and certiorari; and writs necessary to enforce its jurisdiction. [V, 8]

Section 6. COUNTY COURTS, (a) The legislature shall establish in each county a county court. The county court is a court of record. [V, 15]

(b) The county court has original jurisdiction of:

(1) all misdemeanors of which exclusive original jurisdiction is not given to the district court or justice court;

(2) all misdemeanors in which the fine to be imposed exceeds $200;

(3) all civil cases, except suits for recovery of land, in which the amount in controversy exceeds $200 and does not exceed $1,000, exclusive of interest; and

(4) all probate matters not placed by local or general law within the exclusive jurisdiction of another court. [V, 8, 16]

(c) Subject to regulation by law, the county court has jurisdiction of appeals in all cases decided by a justice court except civil cases in which the judgment appealed from does not exceed $20 exclusive of costs. Appeals from justice courts must be tried de novo in the county court. [V, 16, 19]

(d) The county court may issue injunctions, writs of mandamus, and writs necessary to enforce its jurisdiction. [V, 16]

(e) The county court may issue writs of habeas corpus in cases involving matters within the jurisdiction of the county court or any inferior court. [V, 16]

(f) In any county in which there is a criminal district court: (1) the county court has no criminal jurisdiction unless otherwise provided by law; and

(2) appeals in criminal cases from justice courts and other inferior courts lie to the criminal district court, subject to regulation by law, and from that court to the court of criminal appeals. [V, 16]

(g) The legislature by local or general law may increase, diminish, or otherwise change the civil and criminal jurisdiction of county courts and shall conform the jurisdiction of other courts to the change. [V, 22]

(h) The county court shall hold at least four terms annually for both civil and criminal business. Dates of these terms are to be fixed by law or by the county commissioners court under authority of law. Other terms may be fixed by the county commissioners court. The county court may conduct probate business at any time under such regulations as may be prescribed by law. The county commissioners court may not change the number or dates of terms more often than once each year. [V, 17, 29]

(i) Prosecutions in the county court are to be commenced in the manner provided by law. [V, 17, 29]

Section 7. JUSTICE COURTS, (a) The county commissioners court shall divide the county into not fewer than four nor more than eight justice precincts. Each justice precinct is to be served by one justice court, but in any precinct containing a city of 8,000 or more inhabitants, the county commissioners court may provide for two justice courts. The judge of each justice court is a justice of the peace. [V, 18]

(b) Justice courts shall sit at the times and places provided by law. [V, 19]

(c) Justice courts have jurisdiction of:

(1) all criminal cases in which the maximum permissible penalty or fine does not exceed $200;

(2) all civil cases in which the amount in controversy does not exceed $200 exclusive of interest except those civil cases in which exclusive original jurisdiction is vested in the county or district courts; and

(3) such other criminal and civil matters as may be provided by law. [V, 19]

(d) Justices of the peace are ex officio notaries public. [V, 19]

Section 8. ASSIGNMENT OF DISTRICT JUDGES. (a) The legislature shall provide for the holding of district court when the district judge is absent, disabled, or disqualified. [V, 7]

(b) District judges may exchange districts or hold court for each other when they consider it expedient and shall do so if required by law. [V, 11]

Section 9. RULES OF PROCEDURE. The supreme court may promulgate for all courts rules of procedure not inconsistent with the laws of the state. [V, 25]

Section 10. QUALIFICATIONS OF JUDGES. (a) A justice or judge of the supreme court, court of criminal appeals, or a court of civil appeals must be a citizen of the United States and of this state at the time of election; must be at least 35 years old; and must have been a practicing lawyer or a lawyer and a judge of a court of record for at least 10 years. [V, 2, 4, 6]

(b) A judge of a district court must be a citizen of the United States and of this state; must be licensed to practice law in this state and have been a practicing lawyer or a judge of a court in this state or both combined for four years next preceding election; and must have resided in the district for two years next preceding election and continue to reside in the district during the term of office. [V, 7]

(c) A judge of a county court must be well informed in the law of the state. [V, 15]

Section 11. ELECTION OF JUDGES. Justices and judges are elected at a statewide general election by qualified voters of:

(1) the state, in elections for the supreme court and the court of criminal appeals; [V, 2, 4]

(2) their respective districts, in elections for the courts of civil appeals and the district courts; [V, 6, 7]

(3) the county, in elections for the county court; and CV, 15]

(4) the justice precinct, in elections for the justice court. [V, 18]

Section 12. RETIREMENT OF JUDGES. The office of a justice or judge of the supreme court, court of criminal appeals, a court of civil appeals, a district court, or a criminal district court becomes vacant when the incumbent reaches the age of 75 or such earlier age not less than 70 as provided by law. The legislature by law shall provide for the assignment of retired judges and justices when and where needed. [V, l-a(l)]

Section 13. TERMS OF OFFICE. (a) The term of office of justices and judges of the supreme court, court of criminal appeals, and courts of civil appeals is six years. When creating a new court of civil appeals, the legislature shall provide that the justices first elected determine by lot which one serves for two, four, and six years, respectively. [V, 2, 4, 6]

(b) The term of office of judges of the district courts, county courts, justice courts, and any other courts of countywide jurisdiction is four years. [V, 7, 15, 18, 30]

Section 14. VACANCIES. Vacancies in offices of justices and judges are filled until the next general election:

(1) by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate if the vacancy is on the supreme court, the court of criminal appeals, a court of civil appeals, or a district court; or [V, 2, 4, 28; IV, 12]

(2) by the county commissioners court if the vacancy is on a county court or justice court. [V, 28]

Section 15. REMOVAL OF JUDGES. (a) The supreme court, on recommendation of the judicial qualifications commission:

(1) may censure under procedures provided by the legislature or remove a justice or judge from office for willful or persistent conduct that is clearly inconsistent with the proper performance of the duties of the office or that discredits the judiciary or the administration of justice; and

(2) may involuntarily retire any justice or judge who is eligible for judicial retirement benefits under the laws of the state or remove from office any other justice or judge for a disability that seriously interferes with the performance of the duties and is or is likely to become permanent.

The office of a justice or judge involuntarily retired or removed becomes vacant upon the order of retirement or removal. [V, l-a(6), (9)]

(b) On petition of not fewer than 10 lawyers practicing in the district court, taken under oath before a judge of a court of record, the supreme court may remove a district judge from office if the judge:

(1) is incompetent to discharge the duties of the office;

(2) is guilty of partiality, oppression, or other official misconduct;

(3) is unfit to hold the office because of habits or conduct;

(4) negligently fails to perform the duties of the office; or

(5) fails reasonably to execute the business of the court. The petition must reflect personal knowledge or the sworn testimony of credible witnesses. The supreme court may issue necessary process and prescribe rules of procedure for acting on the petition. These petitions have precedence. [XV, 6]

(c) On the address by a record affirmative vote of two-thirds of each house of the legislature, a justice or judge of the supreme court, the court of criminal appeals, a court of civil appeals, or a district court may be removed by the governor for willful neglect of duty, incompetence, habitual drunkenness, oppression in office, or other reasonable cause that is not sufficient ground for impeachment. Each ground for removal must be stated fully in the address and in the journal of each house. The justice or judge whose removal is sought must be notified in writing of each charge made and must be given a full hearing. [XV, 8]

(d) After a hearing on a written charge and a finding of its truth by a jury, a district court may remove a county judge or justice of the peace from office for incompetence, official misconduct, habitual drunkenness, or other cause defined by law. [V, 24]

Section 16. JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS COMMISSION. (a) The state judicial qualifications commission consists of nine members, appointed for six-year terms with the advice and consent of the senate. [V, 1-a]

(b) To be eligible for initial or continued membership on the commission, a person must be qualified and a resident of the state, but no two members may reside within a single supreme judicial district. [V, 1-a]

(c) The commission membership consists of:

(1) two justices of courts of civil appeals, appointed by the supreme court;

(2) two district judges, appointed by the supreme court;

(3) two members of the state bar who have practiced law in the state for 10 years next preceding their selection, appointed by the board of directors of the state bar under regulations prescribed by the supreme court; and

(4) three nonlawyers who are at least 30 years old and hold no salaried public office or employment, appointed by the governor. [V, 1-a]

(d) Vacancies on the commission are filled in the same manner as full-term appointments but only for the remainder of the term. [V, 1-a]

(e) A commission member who has served more than three consecutive years may not be reappointed. [V, 1-a]

(f) The legislature shall provide for payment of necessary expenses of the commission and its members but may not compensate the members for their services. [V, 1-a]

(g) A member of the commission or justice of the supreme court against whom proceedings for removal or retirement have begun may not sit in those proceedings. [V, 1-a]

(h) The commission shall meet at least once each year at the seat of government and at such other times and places as it determines. [V, 1-a]

(i) The commission shall select one of its members as chairperson for a term of one year. [V, 1-a]

(j) Five members of the commission constitute a quorum and five must concur to recommend the involuntary retirement, censure, or removal of a justice or judge. [V, 1-a]

(k) The commission shall keep itself fully informed and investigate formal and informal complaints and reports relating to disability or misconduct of a justice or judge and may compel testimony and the production of documents through contempt proceedings in a district court. [V, 1-a]

(l) After investigation, the commission:

(1) may issue a private reprimand;

(2) may order a hearing before the commission; or

(3) may request the supreme court to appoint an active or retired district judge or justice of a court of civil appeals as a master to conduct a hearing and transmit the record and the report thereon to the commission. [V, 1-a]

(m) After conducting its own hearing or reviewing a record and report from a master, the commission may issue an order of public censure or recommend to the supreme court the removal or involuntary retirement of any justice or judge. The supreme court shall review the record on law and fact and may permit the introduction of additional evidence. [V, 1-a]

(n) All records and testimony received by the commission, a master, or the supreme court are privileged. [V, 1-a]

(o) Proceedings before the commission or a master are confidential but when making a recommendation to the supreme court, the commission shall file with the clerk of the supreme court the entire record of the proceedings before the commission or master. The record ceases to be confidential when filed. [V, 1-a]

(p) The supreme court shall promulgate rules for proceedings under this section. These rules must give any person against whom proceedings are instituted the right to notice, counsel, hearing, confrontation of accusers, and all other incidents of due process of law. [V, 1-a]

(q) A justice or judge who is involuntarily retired from office under this section is entitled to retirement benefits as if retired voluntarily. [V, 1-a]

Section 17. DISTRICT ATTORNEYS. District attorneys are elected to four-year terms in districts to be designated by law. They have such duties of the county attorneys as provided by law and are compensated on a nonfee basis as provided by law. The legislature may also provide for criminal district attorneys elected to four-year terms. [V, 21, 30; XVI, 61]

Section 18. CLERKS OF COURTS. (a) The supreme court, court of criminal appeals, and courts of civil appeals each shall appoint a clerk for a term of four years. A court may remove its clerk for good cause entered on the minutes of the court. Each clerk must give bond as required by law; each clerk is entitled to the compensation provided by law. [V, 3, 5, 6]

(b) The qualified voters of each county shall elect a district clerk for a term of four years. In counties with fewer than 8,000 inhabitants, a joint clerk may be elected to serve as clerk of both the district and county courts. [V, 9, 20]

(c) A vacancy in the office of district clerk is filled by the district judge until the next succeeding general election. [V, 9]

(d) After a hearing on a written charge and a finding of its truth by a jury, the district court may remove a district or county clerk from office for incompetence, official misconduct, habitual drunkenness, or other cause defined by law. [V, 24]

Section 19. JURIES. (a) A grand jury in a district court consists of 12 individuals, 9 of whom constitute a quorum. [V, 13]

(b) A petit jury in the district court consists of 12 individuals. Unless the legislature provides otherwise:

(1) in civil cases and in misdemeanors in the district courts, a verdict may be rendered if nine jurors concur and sign the verdict; and

(2) in any case if one or more jurors, not exceeding three, die or become disabled, the remainder may render a verdict. [V, 13]

(c) A petit jury in the county court consists of six individuals. [V, 17, 29]

(d) The qualifications of grand and petit jurors shall be provided by law, but the right and duty to serve on a jury may not be denied or abridged by reason of sex. [XVI, 19]

(e) In the trial of all cases in the district courts, the plaintiff or defendant has a right to jury trial upon application made in open court and, in civil cases, on payment of such jury fee as may be prescribed by law. [V, 10; I, 15]

(f) In the trial of all cases in the county courts, the plaintiff or defendant has a right to jury trial, but payment in advance of a jury fee as prescribed by law, or an affidavit of inability to pay the jury fee, is necessary prior to impanelling of a jury in a civil case. [I, 15; V, 17]

(g) Grand juries of the district court shall inquire into misdemeanors and all misdemeanor indictments shall be certified to the county court or other inferior court having trial jurisdiction. If the indictment is quashed in the county or other inferior court, the indicted person is not to be discharged if there is probable cause of guilt but may be held to answer an information or affidavit. [V, 17]

(h) The legislature by law shall exclude from jury service persons convicted of bribery, perjury, forgery, or other high crimes. [XVI, 2]

Section 20. NO APPEAL BY STATE. The state may not appeal in criminal cases. [V, 26]

Section 21. COMPENSATION OF JUDGES. (a) Justices and judges are compensated as provided by law. [V, 2, 4, 6, 7, 15]

(b) Judges of the court of criminal appeals and associate justices of the supreme court must receive the same salaries. [V, 4]

(c) Judges of district courts and justices of the peace are to be compensated solely on a salary basis. Judges of county courts in counties of 20,000 population or more are to be compensated solely on a salary basis. Judges of county courts in counties of less than 20,000 population are compensated as provided by the county commissioners court. For purposes of this subsection, population is determined by the last preceding federal decennial census. [XVI, 61]

Section 22. DISTRICT, COUNTY, AND PRECINCT DUAL OFFICE HOLDING. District clerks; district attorneys; criminal district attorneys; judges of county courts at law, county criminal courts, county probate courts, county domestic relations courts; and justices of the peace automatically vacate their offices if (1) they announce their candidacy, or become candidates in fact for election to an office of profit or trust under this state or the United States, other than the office currently held, and (2) the unexpired term of the office currently held exceeds one year. [XVI, 65]

Section 23. DISQUALIFICATION OF JUDGES. (a) A judge is disqualified in any case in which:

(1) the judge may be interested;

(2) any party is a relation by affinity or consanguinity within the degree provided by law; or

(3) the judge has been counsel for any involved party. [V, 11]

(b) When a justice or a judge of the supreme court, court of criminal appeals, or a court of civil appeals is disqualified, the governor shall appoint a person learned in the law to hear and determine the case. [V, 11]

(c) When a judge of the district court or county court is disqualified, the parties by agreement may appoint a proper person to try the case; if they fail to do so, a proper person may be designated in the manner provided by law to try the case in the county in which the case is pending. [V, 11, 16]

Section 24. FEES. District, county, and precinct officers must deposit fees in the treasury of the county where earned. The county commissioners court may direct that officers compensated solely on a fee basis may retain the fees collected. [XVI, 61]

Section 25. TERMS. District, county, and precinct officers elected to four-year terms are elected in even-numbered years in accordance with the staggered arrangement originally provided for in Section 65 of Article XVI of the Constitution of 1876, as it existed on December 31, 1977. [XVI, 65]

ARTICLE VI

VOTER QUALIFICATIONS AND ELECTIONS

Section 1. VOTER QUALIFICATIONS. (a) A qualified voter at an election is a person who:

(1) is at least 21 years of age;

(2) is a citizen of the United States;

(3) has resided in the state for at least one year preceding the election;

(4) has resided at least six months in the district or county in which the person proposes to vote and, if the election is for municipal officers, in the municipality;

(5) has registered in the year of the election;

(6) has not been convicted of a felony;

(7) is not mentally incompetent;

(8) is not a pauper supported by a county; and

(9) owns property which has been duly rendered for taxation in a political subdivision other than a rural fire prevention district if the election in that subdivision is for the purpose of expending money, authorizing property taxes, assuming debt, issuing bonds, or lending credit. [VI, 1, 2, 3, 3a]

(b) The legislature may make exceptions to the exclusion of convicted felons from qualification as a voter. [VI, 1]

(c) If this constitution requires a candidate for public office to be a qualified voter, registration as a voter is not necessary. [VI, 2]

(d) In an election in which the ownership of property is a qualification for voting, a qualified voter may vote only in the election precinct of residence. [VI, 3a]

(e) The legislature may provide by law for voting by a registered voter of a county who has removed to another county of the state and who meets all qualifications for voting in the county of new residency except for the registration requirements. This suffrage may extend only to voting on all offices or propositions common to both the place of previous residence and place of new residence. [VI, 2a]

(f) The legislature may provide by law for voting by a former resident of this state who has removed to another state and who meets all qualifications for voting in this state except for the residency requirements of this article. This suffrage may extend only to voting for the electors for President and Vice President of the United States and may be granted only for that period of time which will permit the former resident to qualify to vote for those offices in the new state of residence but not to exceed two years. [VI, 2a]

(g) The legislature may provide by law for voting by a person who has removed to this state and who meets all qualifications for voting in this state except for the residency requirements of this article. This suffrage may extend only to voting for the electors for President and Vice President of the United States and may be granted only if the person had been a qualified voter in the state from which removed immediately prior to removal and has resided within this state for at least 30 days immediately prior to the general election. [VI, 2a]

(h) The legislature by law shall exclude from the right of suffrage persons convicted of bribery, perjury, forgery, or other high crimes. [XVI, 2]

Section 2. ELECTIONS. (a) Voting by the people in all elections must be by secret ballot. [VI, 4]

(b) The legislature shall provide by law for the registration of all voters, for the numbering of ballots, and for the assurance of the sanctity of the ballot box. The legislature may authorize absentee voting. [VI, 2, 4; XVI, 2]

(c) The general election for state and county officers is to be held in even-numbered years on a date prescribed by law. [Convention Ordinance, 1875]

Section 3. VOTER PRIVILEGE FROM ARREST. A voter is privileged from arrest, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace, while voting and while traveling to or from the polling places. [VI, 5]

ARTICLE VII EDUCATION

Section 1. SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE OF SYSTEM OF PUBLIC FREE SCHOOLS. A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people, it is the duty of the legislature to establish and to make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools. [VII, 1]

Section 2. PERMANENT AND AVAILABLE SCHOOL FUNDS. (a) The Permanent School Fund consists of property set apart for the support of public free schools; one-half of the public domain of the state; the proceeds from sale and mineral development of the property; and the securities purchased with the proceeds. [VII, 2, 4, 5]

(b) The Permanent School Fund is held in perpetual trust for the public free schools. The fund may not be spent. The land of the permanent fund must be sold as provided by law, but the legislature may not grant relief to a purchaser. The comptroller of public accounts, at the direction of the State Board of Education, shall invest the proceeds from the sale of Permanent School Fund land in such securities as may be permitted by law. The State of Texas is responsible for investments. [VII, 2, 4, 5]

(c) The Available School Fund consists of the income from the Permanent School Fund and the state taxes authorized and levied in this constitution for the benefit of the public free schools. [VII, 5]

(d) The State Board of Education shall set aside from the Available School Fund an amount sufficient to provide free textbooks for pupils attending the public free schools. The remainder of the Available School Fund must be distributed among the counties according to their respective scholastic populations and annually must be spent for the support of public free schools in the manner prescribed by law. No portion of the fund may be used to support a sectarian school. [VII, 3, 5]

Section 3. COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOL FUND. (a) The County Public School Fund of each county consists of the land transferred to the county for the support of public free schools in that county; the proceeds from sale and mineral development of the land; and the securities purchased with the proceeds. Each county holds its fund in trust for the benefit of public free schools within the county. [VII, 6]

(b) Title to fund land is in the county and may not be divested by limitation. A county may sell or dispose of fund land in a manner provided by the county commissioners court. Before fund land may be sold, actual settlers residing on the land must be offered an opportunity to purchase all or part of their settlement not to exceed 160 acres. The price for settlers is fixed by the county commissioners court and may not include the value of improvements on the land made by the settler. [VII, 6]

(c) Proceeds from the sale of fund land must be invested in securities in the manner prescribed by law. The county is responsible for investments. [VII, 6]

(d) Income from the County Public School Fund may be spent, but only for the support of public free schools. [VII, 6]

(e) The county commissioners court may transfer part of the County Public School Fund to the common and independent school districts of the county according to their respective scholastic populations. The districts may use the fund only to reduce their bonded indebtedness or to make permanent improvements. The county commissioners court shall retain a portion of the fund sufficient to produce income to pay ad valorem taxes on school lands and royalty interests in the fund at the time of distribution. State financial aid to a school district may not be reduced because of a transfer under this subsection. [VII, 6b]

Section 4. STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION. The legislature shall provide by law for a State Board of Education. Terms for members of the board may not exceed six years. [VII, 8]

Section 5. SCHOOL DISTRICTS. The legislature may create school districts within the state only by general law. [VII, 3]

Section 6. SCHOOL DISTRICT FINANCE. (a) A school district may not levy an ad valorem tax unless the tax has been authorized by law and approved by a majority of the qualified voters of the district who vote at the election. School districts, other than independent or common districts, may not levy an annual ad valorem tax in excess of $1 on the $100 of assessed valuation of taxable property in the district. [VII, 3]

(b) The power of an independent school district or junior college district to levy ad valorem taxes or issue bonds previously voted is not lost by a change in its boundaries. After a change in boundaries, the governing body of each affected district may levy the ad valorem tax or issue the bonds previously voted in the district without another election. If a change in boundaries results in an independent school district annexing or being consolidated with one or more other whole school districts, the new district may levy the ad valorem tax or issue the bonds previously voted in the district with the greatest scholastic population. [VII, 3-b]

Section 7. UNIVERSITY OF THE FIRST CLASS. The legislature shall provide for the maintenance, support, and direction of a university of the first class, to be named "The University of Texas," of which the Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University located in Brazos County is a branch for instruction in agriculture, the mechanic arts, and natural sciences. [VII, 10, 13]

Section 8. PERMANENT AND AVAILABLE UNIVERSITY FUNDS. (a) The Permanent University Fund consists of the land heretofore or hereafter set apart for The University of Texas; the proceeds from sale and mineral development of the land; the property purchased with the proceeds; and all grants, donations, and appropriations made to The University of Texas except those limited to specific purposes. [VII, 11, 15]

(b) The Permanent University Fund may not be spent. The land of the permanent fund must be sold as provided by law, but the legislature may not grant relief to a purchaser. Proceeds must be invested. [VII, 11, 12, 15]

(c) The board of regents of The University of Texas System may invest the Permanent University Fund only in obligations issued or guaranteed by the United States, bonds issued by the State of Texas, school bonds issued by school districts of this state, bonds issued by cities or counties of this state, bonds issued under Article VII, Section 9 of this constitution, or obligations or stock issued by corporations, associations, or other institutions as the board may deem proper investments. The board of regents may not:

(1) invest in the stock of a corporation that is not incorporated in the United States;

(2) invest in the stock of a corporation unless:

(A) the corporation or its predecessors have paid dividends for at least five consecutive years preceding investment; and

(B) the stock, other than bank or insurance stock, is listed on an exchange registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission or its successor;

(3) invest more than one percent of the Permanent University Fund in the securities of any one corporation; or

(4) permit the Permanent University Fund to own more than five percent of the voting stock of any one corporation. [VII, 11, lla, 18]

(d) The board of regents of The University of Texas System in investing the Permanent University Fund must use the standard of care exercised by persons of ordinary prudence in investing not for speculation but to secure permanent disposition of their own capital in light of potential income and risk of loss. [VII, 11, 11a]

(e) The legislature by law shall provide for full disclosure of all investments. [VII, lla]

(f) The Available University Fund consists of the income from the Permanent University Fund. The Available University Fund first must be used to pay principal and interest on bonds or notes issued under Section 9 of this article. The legislature may appropriate the remainder for the purposes declared in Section 7 of this article. [VII, 11, lla, 18]

Section 9. PERMANENT UNIVERSITY FUND BONDS AND NOTES. (a) The board of regents of The Texas A&M University System may issue negotiable bonds or notes in an amount not to exceed one-third of 20 percent of the value of the Permanent University Fund exclusive of real estate at the time of issuance. The proceeds may be used only to acquire, construct, or equip permanent improvements at the following institutions of the system:

Texas A&M University

Prairie View A&M University at Prairie View

Tarleton State University at Stephenville

Texas Agricultural Experiment System

Texas Agricultural Extension Service

Texas Engineering Experiment Station at College Station

Texas Engineering Extension Service at College Station

Texas Forest Service.

No permanent improvement may be acquired, built, or initially equipped from the proceeds without prior approval of the legislature or an agency authorized by law to grant such approval, except at Texas A&M University, Tarleton State University, or Prairie View A&M University. [VII, 18] (b) The board of regents of The University of Texas System may issue negotiable bonds or notes in an amount not to exceed two-thirds of 20 percent of the value of the Permanent University Fund exclusive of real estate at the time of issuance. The proceeds may be used only to acquire, construct, or equip permanent improvements at the following institutions of the system:

The University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas

The University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston

The University of Texas at El Paso

The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute at Houston

The University of Texas Postgraduate School of Medicine The University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston The University of Texas McDonald Observatory at Mount Locke The University of Texas Marine Science Institute at Port Aransas. No permanent improvement may be built or acquired from the proceeds without prior approval by the legislature or an agency authorized by law to grant such approval, except at The University of Texas at Austin or The University of Texas at El Paso. [VII, 18]

(c) Bonds or notes issued under this section are payable only from the Available University Fund. The governing boards of The Texas A&M University System and The University of Texas System each may pledge in whole or in part their respective interests in the Available University Fund as apportioned by Chapter 42, Acts of the 42nd Legislature, Regular Session, to secure payment of bonds or notes issued under this section. The bonds or notes must mature not more than 30 years from the date of issuance. [VII, 18]

(d) No bonds or notes may be issued under this section without the prior approval of the attorney general. After approval the bonds or notes are incontestable. [VII, 18]

(e) An institution that is a member of The University of Texas System or The Texas A&M University System, as set forth in Subsections (a) and (b) of this section, may not receive general revenue funds to acquire or build permanent improvements except that in case of fire or natural disaster the legislature may appropriate from general revenue an amount sufficient to replace an uninsured loss. [VII, 14, 18]

Section 10. COLLEGE BUILDING FUND AND BONDS AND NOTES. (a) There is hereby levied a state ad valorem tax on taxable property of 10 cents on the $100 valuation for the College Building Fund. The fund is to be allocated as provided in this section among eligible institutions of higher education to acquire, build, or initially equip permanent improvements at the eligible institutions, but may not be spent on auxiliary enterprises. [VII, 17]

(b) The following institutions of higher education are eligible for allocations from the fund through December 31, 1987:

The University of Texas at Arlington

Texas Tech University at Lubbock

North Texas State University at Denton

Lamar University at Beaumont

Texas A&I University at Kingsville

Texas Woman's University at Denton

Texas Southern University at Houston

Midwestern University at Wichita Falls

University of Houston at Houston

Pan American University at Edinburg

East Texas State University at Commerce

Sam Houston State University at Huntsville

Southwest Texas State University at San Marcos

West Texas State University at Canyon

Stephen F. Austin State University at Nacogdoches

Sul Ross State University at Alpine

Angelo State University at San Angelo. [VII, 17]

(c) The governing board of each institution of higher education allocated a portion of the College Building Fund may pledge all or part of its allocation to secure bonds or notes issued to acquire, build, or initially equip permanent improvements at the institution. The bonds and notes must mature not more than 10 years from the date of issuance and may bear interest at rates not to exceed a weighted annual average interest rate of six percent. Bonds may be sold only through competitive bids and may not be sold for less than par value plus accrued interest. No bonds may be issued under this section without prior approval of the attorney general. After approval the bonds are incontestable. Approved bonds are registered by the comptroller of public accounts. [VII, 17; III, 65]

(d) Allocations of the College Building Fund are to be made for 10-year periods beginning January 1, 1978. Allocations from the fund to eligible institutions are to be made as follows:

(1) not later than June 1 of the beginning year of each 10-year period, the comptroller of public accounts shall allocate 85 percent of the revenues from the tax for that 10-year period among eligible institutions on the following basis:

(A) 90 percent in proportion to the enrollment of each institution for the 10-year period as projected by the Coordinating Board, Texas College and University System; and

(B) 10 percent in proportion to the estimated need of each institution for additional educational and general facilities to meet the average square feet requirement per full-time equivalent student of all state senior colleges and universities;

(2) not later than June 1 of the sixth year of each 10-year period, the comptroller of public accounts shall allocate the remaining 15 percent of the revenues from the tax for the 10-year period in the same manner as for the first 85 percent except that one-half of the allocation of the 15 percent must be based on projected enrollment increases and one-half on the need for additional educational or general facilities as determined at that time for the remainder of the 10-year period. [VII, 17]

(e) The comptroller of public accounts shall issue warrants to implement this section and the treasurer shall pay the warrants from the College Building Fund. [VII, 17]

(f) Institutions of higher education allocated a portion of the College Building Fund may not receive general revenue funds to acquire, build, or initially equip permanent improvements except that in case of fire or natural disaster the legislature may appropriate from general revenue an amount sufficient to replace an uninsured loss. [VII, 17]

Section 11. OFFICES OF THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM. The legislature by law shall fix the terms, not to exceed six years, of all offices of the public school system and of the state institutions of higher education. [VII, 16(1928)]

Section 12. ELEEMOSYNARY INSTITUTIONS FUNDS. (a) Permanent funds for eleemosynary institutions consist of land set apart for the support, maintenance, and improvement of institutions for the insane, blind, deaf, mute, or orphaned; the proceeds from sale and mineral development of the land; the securities purchased with the proceeds; and donations made to these eleemosynary institutions. [VII, 9]

(b) The permanent fund may not be spent. The land of the permanent fund may be sold as provided by law. The comptroller of public accounts, at the direction of the State Board of Education, shall invest the proceeds from the sale of permanent fund land in securities in the manner provided by law. The State of Texas is responsible for investments. [VII, 9]

ARTICLE VIII

FINANCE

Section 1. GENERAL LIMITATIONS ON TAXATION, (a) Taxes may be levied and collected by general law and for public purposes only. [VIII, 3]

(b) Taxation must be equal and uniform. [VIII, 1]

(c) The power to tax corporations may not be surrendered, suspended, or contracted away by the state. [VIII, 4]

(d) Farm products in the hands of the producer and family supplies for home and farm use are exempt from all taxation unless the legislature provides otherwise by a record affirmative two-thirds vote of the membership of each house. [VIII, 19]

Section 2. STATE AD VALOREM TAXATION. (a) No state ad valorem tax on property may be levied for state purposes except the tax levied for institutions of higher education under Article VII, Section 10, of this constitution. [VIII, 1-a, 1-e]

(b) The State Building Fund is hereby created. On or before the first day of January of each year, the comptroller of public accounts shall certify to the treasurer the amount of money necessary to pay Confederate pensions for the ensuing calendar year as provided by the constitution and laws of this state. [III, 51-b; VIII, 1-e]

(c) Unless otherwise provided by law, delinquent state ad valorem taxes and penalties and interest on delinquent state ad valorem taxes less legal costs of collection are to be used to secure bonds issued for permanent improvements at institutions of higher education issued under Article VII, Section 10, of this constitution. [VIII, 1-e]

(d) Fees paid by the state for assessing and collecting state ad valorem taxes may not exceed two percent of the state taxes collected. [VIII, 1-e]

Section 3. GENERAL LIMITATIONS ON AD VALOREM TAXATION. (a) Except for property owned by a municipal corporation or except as otherwise permitted in this article, all property must be taxed in proportion to value, which is to be ascertained as provided by law. Land and other property not rendered for taxation by its owner must be assessed at its fair value by the proper officer. [VIII, 1, 11]

(b) The legislature by law shall provide for the equalization of property valuations and may provide for the classification of lands with reference to their value in the counties. No property may be assessed at a value greater than fair market value. [VIII, 18, 20]

(c) The legislature by an affirmative two-thirds vote of the membership of each house may release state or county ad valorem taxes due on property in a county, city, or town if there has been a great public calamity in that county, city, or town. [III, 55; VIII, 10]

(d) The legislature by law may provide that a person paying ad valorem taxes is entitled to a discount of three percent if payment is made at least 90 days before the taxes become delinquent; two percent if payment is made at least 60 days before the taxes become delinquent; or one percent if payment is made at least 30 days before the taxes become delinquent. [VIII, 20]

Section 4. ASSESSMENT OF AGRICULTURAL LAND, (a) Land, exclusive of its mineral estate, is to be assessed on the basis of agricultural use if the land:

(1) is owned by natural persons;

(2) is designated for agricultural use in accordance with the provisions of this section; and

(3) for at least three years immediately preceding its designation, has been devoted exclusively to agricultural use or continuously developed for agriculture.

(b) "Agricultural use" means the raising of livestock or growing of crops, fruit, flowers, or other products of the soil under natural conditions as a business venture for profit but only if the business is the primary occupation and source of income of the owner.

(c) For each assessment year, a landowner wishing to designate land for agricultural use shall file with the local tax assessor a sworn, written statement describing the use of the land. The landowner shall provide evidence of use and source of income as may be required by the local tax assessor to assist the assessor in determining whether the land qualifies under this section. The local tax assessor may inspect the land.

(d) If the land qualifies under this section, the local tax assessor shall designate it for agricultural use and shall assess it on the basis of agricultural use. During each year land is designated for agricultural use, the local tax assessor shall maintain a record of the value of the land as though it had not been so designated.

(e) If designated land is sold or diverted to a purpose other than that of agricultural use, the land is subject to an additional tax equal to the difference for the preceding three years between the tax payable under this section and the tax that would have been payable if the land had not been designated for agricultural use. Until paid, the additional taxes and interest constitute a lien on the land. [VIII, 1-d]

Section 5. ASSESSMENT OF RAILROAD ROLLING STOCK. The legislature by general law may permit the rolling stock of railroads to be assessed for ad valorem tax purposes by the county in which the principal office of the railroad is located and require the comptroller of public accounts to apportion the county taxes collected on the basis of track mileage among the counties through which the railroad runs, as a part of their tax assets. [VIII, 8]

Section 6. ASSESSMENT AND TAXATION OF PERMANENT UNIVERSITY FUND LAND. Permanent University Fund land is subject to ad valorem taxation for county purposes levied on the basis of values fixed by the State Tax Board. The state shall remit annually to the appropriate counties an amount equal to the tax so levied. [VII, 16(1930)]

Section 7. AD VALOREM TAX EXEMPTIONS. (a) The following property is exempt from ad valorem taxation:

(1) property of counties, cities, and towns owned and held only for public purposes and other property devoted exclusively to the use and benefit of the public except County Public School Fund agricultural and grazing land, which is exempt only from ad valorem taxation for state purposes, and Permanent University Fund land, which is not exempt from ad valorem taxation for county purposes; and [VII, 6a, 16(1930); XI, 9]

(2) $250 worth of household furniture owned by a family. [VIII, 1]

(b) Each residential homestead of married or unmarried adults, including those living alone, is exempt from state ad valorem taxation in the amount of $3,000 of assessed value. [VIII, 1-b]

(c) The governing board of a political subdivision may exempt from ad valorem taxation not less than $3,000 of the assessed value of a residential homestead of married or unmarried persons at least 65 years of age, including those living alone. If no exemption has been granted, the governing board, on a petition signed by at least 20 percent of the number of voters voting in the last preceding election held by the political subdivision, shall call an election to determine by majority vote whether to grant the exemption in an amount, not less than $3,000, specified in the petition. If an ad valorem tax has theretofore been pledged for the payment of a debt and the cessation of the levy would impair the obligation of the contract by which the debt was created, the taxing officers of the political subdivision may continue to levy and collect the tax against the homestead property at the same rate as the tax so pledged until the debt is discharged. [VIII, 1-b]

(d) The legislature by general law may exempt from ad valorem taxation:

(1) public property used for public purposes;

(2) actual places of religious worship;

(3) property owned by a church or strictly religious society for exclusive use as a dwelling place for the ministry of the church or religious society if the property yields no revenue to the church or religious society, but the exemption may not extend to more property than is reasonably necessary for a dwelling place and in no event to more than one acre of land;

(4) places of burial not held for profit;

(5) buildings used exclusively and owned by institutions of purely public charity;

(6) buildings used exclusively and owned by persons or associations of persons for school purposes and the necessary furniture of schools;

(7) property used exclusively and reasonably necessary in conducting an association engaged in the religious, educational, and physical development of young persons if the association is affiliated with a state or national organization of the same character;

(8) endowment funds of institutions of learning and religion if not used for profit; or

(9) bonds or mortgages owned by endowment funds described in Subdivision (8) of this subsection, and other property owned by the funds if acquired by foreclosure to satisfy or protect those bonds or mortgages, but only for two years following the foreclosure sale. [VIII, 2(a)]

(e) The legislature by general law may exempt from ad valorem taxation property owned by a disabled veteran or the surviving spouse and minor children of a disabled veteran. A disabled veteran is a veteran of the armed services of the United States classified as disabled with a disability rating of 10 percent or greater by the Veterans Administration, its successor, or the military service in which the veteran served. An exemption for a disabled veteran may not exceed the following values of at least but not greater than

Value for a disability rating of
$1,500 10% 30% 2,000 31 50 2,500 51 70 3,000 71 100

A larger exemption may be granted to a disabled veteran with less than 71 percent disability in an amount not to exceed $3,000 valuation if the veteran is at least 65 years of age; has lost, or lost the use of, one or more limbs; is blind in one or both eyes; or is paraplegic. An exemption for the surviving spouse and minor children of a deceased disabled veteran must be the same exemption to which the veteran was entitled at the time of death. [VIII, 2(b)]

(f) The spouse and children of a member of the armed forces whose life is lost while on active duty will be granted an exemption from taxation for property valued at up to $2,500. [VIII, 2(b)]

Section 8. AD VALOREM TAX ASSESSMENT LIEN; REDEMPTION OF PROPERTY SOLD FOR NONPAYMENT OF TAXES. (a) Annual taxes assessed on land constitute a lien on the land. All property of a delinquent taxpayer is liable to seizure and sale for the payment of taxes and penalties owed by the delinquent taxpayer. [VIII, 15]

(b) If land is sold for nonpayment of taxes, the former owner may redeem the land within two years from the date the purchaser's tax deed is filed for record. To redeem the land during the first year the former owner must pay the sale price; $1 recording fee; costs of sale; taxes, penalties, and interest due on the land; and a special charge not to exceed 25 percent of the total of the preceding amounts. To redeem the land during the second year the former owner must pay the sale price; a $1 recording fee; costs of sale; taxes, penalties, and interest due on the property; and a special charge not to exceed 50 percent of the total of the preceding amounts. [VIII, 13]

Section 9. ALLOCATIONS AND USES OF CERTAIN REVENUES. (a) Each county receives from the net revenue derived annually from motor vehicle registration fees attributable to the county an amount prescribed by general law, but that amount must be at least equal to all fees collected up to $50,000 and 50 percent of the next $250,000 of fees collected. [VIII, 7-a]

(b) All net revenue from motor vehicle registration fees not retained by the counties and three-fourths of all net revenue derived from taxes on motor fuels and lubricants used to propel motor vehicles over public roadways, except gross production and ad valorem taxes, may be appropriated by law only for the following purposes:

(1) acquiring rights-of-way for public roadways;

(2) constructing or maintaining public roadways;

(3) administering laws pertaining to the supervision of traffic or safety on public roadways; or

(4) policing public roadways.

(c) One-fourth of all net revenue from the motor fuel tax is dedicated to the Available School Fund. [VIII, 7-a]

(d) No revenue from taxes on motor fuels and lubricants or from motor vehicle registration fees not retained by counties may be appropriated for payment of principal or interest on bonds or warrants issued by political subdivisions. [VIII, 7-a]

Section 10. STATE DEBT. Unless specifically authorized by this constitution, no debt may be created by or on behalf of the state except: (1) to supply casual deficiencies in revenue, not to exceed $200,000 at any one time; (2) to defend the state in war; or (3) to suppress insurrection. [III, 49]

Section 11. STUDENT LOAN BONDS. (a) The legislature by law may authorize the Coordinating Board, Texas College and University System, or its successor or successors, to issue and sell Texas College Student Loan Bonds in an amount not to exceed $285 million. The bonds are to be executed in the form, denominations, and on the terms prescribed by law and in installments determined by the board. Eighty-five million dollars of the bonds may bear interest at rates not to exceed a weighted average annual interest rate of six percent. The remaining $200 million may bear interest at rates prescribed by the board but not to exceed a maximum net effective interest rate that may be fixed by law.

(b) Bonds may not be issued under this section without prior approval of the attorney general. After approval by the attorney general , registration by the comptroller of public accounts, and delivery to the purchaser, the bonds are incontestable and are general obligations of the state.

(c) Money from the sale of bonds is deposited in the Texas Opportunity Plan Fund of the state treasury. The fund is administered by the coordinating board and may be used:

(1) to make loans to students admitted to a public or private institution of higher education, including a junior college, in the state but only if the institution is accredited under standards prescribed by law; and

(2) to pay interest and principal on the bonds and to provide a sinking fund for payment of interest and principal on the bonds, as prescribed by law.

(d) The legislature may provide for the investment of the Texas Opportunity Plan Fund and the interest-and-sinking funds established for bonds issued under this section. The income from investments may be used as provided by law.

(e) There is appropriated from the first money coming into the state treasury in each fiscal year, not otherwise appropriated by this constitution, an amount which, combined with the amount in the interest-and-sinking fund at the close of the preceding year, is sufficient to pay principal and interest due on bonds during the year. [III, 50b, 505-1, 65]

Section 12. PARK DEVELOPMENT BONDS. (a) The Parks and Wildlife Department, or its successor, may issue and sell Texas Park Development bonds in an amount not to exceed $75 million. The bonds are to be executed in the form and denominations and on the terms prescribed by law, are to be issued in installments as determined by the department; and are to bear interest at rates determined by the department but not to exceed a weighted annual interest rate of six percent.

(b) Bonds may not be issued under this section without prior approval of the attorney general. After approval by the attorney general, registration by the comptroller of public accounts, and delivery to the purchaser, the bonds are incontestable and are general obligations of the state.

(c) Money from the sale of bonds is to be deposited in the Texas Park Development Fund of the state treasury. The fund is administered by the Parks and Wildlife Department, in the manner prescribed by law, without further appropriation. The money may be used, as prescribed by general law, for acquiring and developing land for sites as state parks.

(d) The legislature may provide for the Parks and Wildlife Department to invest the Texas Park Development Fund and the interest-and-sinking fund established for bonds issued under this section. Income from investments may be used as provided by law.

(e) When bonds are issued and sold under this section, an amount of the proceeds sufficient to pay interest to become due during the fiscal year in which the bonds are issued must be deposited in the interest-and-sinking fund.

(f) Receipts from admission charges to state parks are to be deposited in the interest-and-sinking fund. If the principal and interest of all bonds have been paid or if there is sufficient money on deposit in the interest-and-sinking fund to pay all future maturities of principal and interest, the receipts from admission charges are to be deposited in the fund established by law for revenue earned by the Parks and Wildlife Department.

(g) There is appropriated from the first money coming into the state treasury in each fiscal year, not otherwise appropriated by this constitution, an amount which, combined with the amount in the interest-and-sinking fund at the close of the preceding year, is sufficient to pay principal and interest due on bonds during the year. [III, 49-e, 65]

Section 13. WATER DEVELOPMENT BONDS AND CONTRACTS. (a) The Water Development Board may issue and sell Texas Water Development Fund bonds in an aggregate amount not to exceed $100 million. If authorized by an affirmative two-thirds vote of the membership of each house of the legislature, the Water Development Board may issue and sell additional Texas Water Development bonds in an aggregate amount not to exceed $300 million. The bonds are to be executed in the form and denominations and on terms prescribed by law and in installments as determined by the Water Development Board.

(b) Money from bonds sold under Subsection (a) of this section is deposited in the Texas Water Development Fund in the state treasury and is to be administered by the Water Development Board in the manner provided by law without further appropriation. The fund may be used only:

(1) to make loans for the purpose of conserving and developing the water resources of the state; or

(2) under requirements provided by general law, to acquire or develop storage facilities and systems or works necessary for the filtration, treatment, or transportation of water. Loans may be made only to political subdivisions or bodies politic and corporate of the state or to interstate compact commissions of which the state is a member. The loans are to be repaid with interest on terms and conditions and in the manner provided by law. Under terms and conditions provided by law, acquired storage facilities and the right to use the facilities may be sold, transferred, or leased, but not at a price less than the direct cost of acquisition. Unappropriated public waters of the state may be sold under terms and conditions provided by law. Before a facility, right to use a facility, or unappropriated water stored in a facility may be sold, the purchaser must secure a permit from the Texas Water Commission or its successor.

(c) If directed by the Water Quality Board, or any successor, the Water Development Board shall issue and sell additional bonds in an aggregate amount not to exceed $200 million for purposes of water quality enhancement, as established by law. The bonds are to be executed in the form, denominations, and installments and on the terms provided by law. Money from bonds sold under this subsection is to be deposited in the Texas Water Development Fund to be invested and administered as provided by law and may be used by the Water Quality Board, or its successor, to make loans or grants under terms and conditions prescribed by general law to political subdivisions or bodies politic and corporate of the state or to interstate compact commissions of which the state is a member.

(d) Under provisions prescribed by general law, the Water Development Board may execute long-term contracts with the federal government or agencies of the federal government for the acquisition and development of storage facilities in reservoirs constructed by the federal government. When executed, the contracts constitute general obligations of the state. Provisions of this section concerning the payment of principal of and interest on bonds issued under Subsection (a) of this section also apply to the payment of long-term contracts executed under this subsection. Contracts acquiring storage facilities for a term of years must contain provisions for renewal to protect the investment of the state.

(e) Bonds issued under this section may bear interest at rates not to exceed a weighted average annual interest rate of six percent. The bonds mature as the Water Development Board prescribes, subject to limitations imposed by the legislature.

(f) Bonds may not be issued under this section without prior approval of the attorney general. After approval by the attorney general, registration by the comptroller of public accounts, and delivery to the purchaser, the bonds are incontestable and are general obligations of the state.

(g) The legislature may provide that the Water Development Board may invest the Texas Water Development Fund and the interest-and-sinking funds established for bonds issued under this section. Income from the investments may be used as provided by law.

(h) From money received by the Water Development Board as repayment of principal of, or interest on, loans made under Subsections (b) and (c) of this section, an amount must be deposited in the interest-and-sinking fund sufficient to pay interest and principal due during the ensuing year and sufficient to establish and maintain a reserve equal to the average annual principal and interest requirements of outstanding bonds issued under the subsection. If the money received is in excess of the amount necessary to meet these requirements, the excess is to be deposited to the Texas Water Development Fund and may be used for the purposes provided for that fund in Subsection (b) of this section, or for administrative expenses of the Water Development Board.

(i) Money received by the Water Development Board from the sale, transfer, or lease of storage facilities or associated systems or works is to be deposited in the interest-and-sinking fund and must be used to pay principal of and interest on bonds issued or contracts executed under Subsections (a) and (d) of this section. The money received may be deposited in the Texas Water Development Fund and used for the purposes provided for that fund in Subsection (b) of this section if money in the interest-and-sinking fund is sufficient to pay the full amount of principal and interest on bonds or contracts then outstanding. Money received from the sale of water, including stand-by service, may be used for the operation and maintenance of acquired facilities or for the payment of principal and interest on outstanding bonds or contracts.

(j) No state fund created for water development, transmission, transfer, or filtration may be used to finance a project for permanently removing from the basin of origin surface water necessary to supply the reasonably foreseeable future water requirements of the river basin for the next ensuing 50-year period.

(k) There is appropriated from the first money coming into the state treasury in each fiscal year, not otherwise appropriated by this constitution, an amount that, combined with the amount in the interest-and-sinking fund at the close of the preceding year, is sufficient to pay principal and interest due on bonds during that year. [III, 49-c, 49-d, 49-d-l, 65]

Section 14. VETERANS' LAND BONDS. (a) The Veterans' Land Board may issue and sell bonds or obligations in an amount not to exceed $500 million. The bonds or obligations must be sold for not less than par value and accrued interest; are to be executed in the form and denominations and on the terms provided by law; are to be issued and sold at such times, at such places, and in such installments as determined by the board; and are to bear interest at rates determined by the board but not to exceed a weighted annual interest rate of six percent for any installment. For purposes of this section, a "series of bonds" means those issued and sold in a single transaction as a single installment.

(b) Bonds may not be issued under this section without prior approval of the attorney general. After approval by the attorney general, registration by the comptroller of public accounts, and delivery to the purchaser, the bonds are incontestable and are general obligations of the state. Teacher Retirement Funds, Permanent University Funds, and Permanent School Funds have a preferential right to purchase bonds and obligations issued under this section.

(c) The Veterans' Land Fund consists of proceeds from the sale of bonds and obligations; land purchased by the board, until the sale price, interest, and penalties due on the land are received by the board; proceeds, including interest and penalties, from the sale of the land or rights therein; money received for indemnity or forfeiture; pecuniary benefit from the land; income from investment of the fund; and all other moneys attributable to bonds heretofore or hereafter issued and sold by the board. For purposes of this section, a "division" of the fund is all money, proceeds, and land attributable to bonds sold pursuant to a single constitutional authorization.

(d) Money in the Veterans' Land Fund may be expended only:

(1) to pay principal of and interest on bonds;

(2) to purchase land situated in the state for cash at the lowest price obtainable;

(3) to pay costs incidental to the purchase or sale of land as provided by law; or

(4) to pay the expenses of issuing, selling, delivering, and paying principal of and interest on bonds.

Money not immediately committed to these purposes may be invested in obligations of the United States until needed. If money in a division of the fund is sufficient to retire all bonds secured by the division, the Veterans' Land Board may use the excess money of the division to pay principal, interest, or other expenses of bonds secured by other divisions of the fund. Once money in the Veterans' Land Fund is sufficient to retire fully all bonds issued under this section, money thereafter becoming part of the fund is to be deposited in the General Revenue Fund and may be used for purposes provided by law.

(e) A person eligible to purchase land from the Veterans' Land Board is one who:

(1) is a citizen of the United States and a resident of the state at the time of filing an application for purchase;

(2) served on active duty for at least 90 consecutive days, unless sooner discharged for service-connected disability, in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, or Marine Corps of the United States after September 16, 1940;

(3) was not dishonorably discharged from an armed service named in Subdivision (2) of this subsection; and

(4) was a resident of the state at the time of entering the armed services or has resided in the state for at least the five years immediately preceding the time when filing an application for purchase. If an eligible veteran dies after filing an application for purchase and contract of sale, a surviving spouse may complete the purchase.

(f) Land purchased by the Veterans' Land Board is to be sold to eligible veterans in quantities, on terms, at prices and rates of interest, and under rules and regulations provided by law. If land is first offered to eligible veterans and is not sold, it may be sold, as provided by law, to other purchasers. Costs necessary or incidental to a purchase or sale of land must be included in the sale price.

(g) In the case of a series of bonds sold after November 11, 1967, money attributable to the series may be used for eight years from the date of sale to purchase land and for other purposes authorized under this section but thereafter may be used only to retire bonds or to pay expenses in accordance with a resolution adopted by the Veterans' Land Board, or is to be deposited in the General Revenue Fund as provided herein.

(h) If necessary to prevent default on bonds issued under this section, the legislature shall appropriate an amount sufficient to pay principal of and interest on the bonds.

(i) Lands comprising a part of the Veterans' Land Fund are held for a governmental purpose. Individual purchasers are subject to taxation to the same extent and in the same manner as purchasers of Permanent Public Free School Fund land. [III, 49-b, 65]

Section 15. APPROPRIATIONS. (a) No money may be drawn from the state treasury except in accordance with specific appropriation made by law. [VIII, 6]

(b) No appropriation of money from the state treasury may be made for a period longer than two years. [VIII, 6]

(c) On the convening of the legislature in regular session, the comptroller of public accounts shall submit to the governor and the legislature a report that shows: (1) the condition of the state treasury at the end of the preceding fiscal period, (2) an estimate of the probable receipts and disbursements for the current fiscal year, (3) an itemized estimate of anticipated revenues for the next applicable fiscal period, and (4) other information required by law. On the convening of a special session of the legislature, the comptroller of public accounts shall submit a report showing changes from the regular report previously submitted. In the event of probable changes at other times, the comptroller of public accounts shall report the changes to the governor and to the members of the legislature. [III, 49a]

(d) No bill containing an appropriation may be considered as passed or be presented to the governor unless the comptroller of public accounts has certified that the amount appropriated is within the estimated revenue for the applicable fiscal period or unless the appropriation is made in response to imperative public necessity and approved by a record affirmative four-fifths vote of the membership of each house of the legislature. [III, 49a]

(e) When the comptroller finds an appropriation bill exceeds the estimated revenue he shall endorse such finding thereon and return to the house in which same originated. Such information shall be immediately made known to both the house of representatives and the senate and the necessary steps shall be taken to bring such appropriation to within the revenue, either by providing additional revenue, or reducing the appropriation. [III, 49a]

Section 16. USE OF PUBLIC MONEY AND CREDIT. (a) Except as otherwise provided by this constitution, the legislature may not:

(1) appropriate for private or individual purposes; [XVI, 6(a)]

(2) grant public money to an individual, association, or corporation, including a municipal corporation, except in cases of public calamity; [III, 51]

(3) lend or pledge the credit of the state to, or in aid of, a person, association, or corporation, including a municipal corporation; [III, 50]

(4) release the indebtedness, liability, or obligation of any individual or corporation to the state or any political subdivision, except taxes which have been delinquent at least 10 years; [III, 54, 55]

(5) grant extra compensation, fee, or allowance to a public officer, servant, agent, or contractor after service has been performed or a contract has been entered into; [III, 44, 53]

(6) employ any person or pay any claim to an individual unless provided for by pr