Now for one of those elections that makes voter turnout in General Elections look brilliant. Yes, early voting begins tomorrow for the Nov. 5 ballot that features 10 constitutional amendments, the opportunity to legalize charitable bingo in Uvalde County and two city measures that would extend the term for mayor from two to four years.
We have editorialized in favor of the bingo measure, which would make legal for the county what is already available inside the city limits, and the city propositions, but what about the amendments? With the exception of a couple, like those permitting a person to hold more than one job as a municipal judge and prohibiting the imposition of an individual income tax, we say aye to the other eight.
Especially appealing is Proposition 5, which calls for dedicating revenue from the existing state sales and use taxes imposed on sporting goods to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission to protect Texas’ natural areas, water quality and history. Acquiring, managing and improving state and local parks and historic sites without increasing the rates of the state sales and use taxes is a no brainer. Besides, it is not a new tax but rather a measure to ensure the money goes where it was intended.
We also applaud Proposition 6, which would authorize the legislature to increase by $3 billion the maximum bond amount authorized for the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. Texas has long been on the cutting edge of cancer research and treatment and, we feel the money is more than justified.
Lastly – and the last amendment on the ballot – Proposition 10 would provide for the transfer of a law enforcement animal to a qualified caretaker in certain circumstances. We saw this situation unfold last summer in our own police department when the K-9 officer Max was forced to retire due to health issues and went to live with his handler. The bond between the animals and their masters runs deep by necessity, and they literally deserve each other.
Look over the proposed amendments and local propositions that appear in today’s newspaper and cast your ballot early at the Willie De Leon Civic Center from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. It could not be any easier.