Eight state constitutional amendments will be the only issues before Wharton County voters this November, one is the nursing home visitation cause championed by District 18 State Senator Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham.

COVID-19 concerns put nursing homes throughout the state in self isolation mode last year as virus case counts soared. While the effort was done to protect the elderly housed in the assorted facilities, it also quashed hopes as family visits turn from hugs and hand-holding to waves at the windows and phone calls.

“Visiting a loved one in a nursing home should be a right, not a privilege,” Kolkhorst told news outlets and her fellow senators.

If approved, Proposition 6 would ensure at least one loved one would have access to each family member residing in a care facility should COVID cause new shutdowns or any future health emergency.

“Our state’s caregivers will always have a way to safely go inside a facility for scheduled visits and ensure that their loved one’s physical, social and emotional needs are being met,” Kolkhorst said.

Another COVID-19 related provision is Proposition 3 (SJR 27) which, if accepted by voters, officially prohibits the state, city, county or other governmental unit from prohibiting or limiting religious services.

Limits on building occupancy during initial COVID-19 response last year brought this issue to the forefront as churches at first canceled services and then moved them online.

Other propositions are: 

Proposition 1 (HJR 143), if approved, would allow charitable raffles at rodeo venues if approved.

Proposition 2 (HJR 99) gives a county the authority to finance developments in blighted areas.

Eligibility of candidates for district judge, appeals judges and supreme court justices are addressed in Proposition 4. If approved, the amendment would require candidates to have between eight and 10 years experience depending on which office they are seeking. In Texas, judges are elected by popular vote.

Proposition 5 makes judicial conduct expectations for state judicial candidates the same as office holders if approved.

Propositions 7 (HJR 125) and 8 (SJR 35) address continued property tax benefits for survivors.

The first, if approved, grants continued limits on school district taxes for the surviving spouse of a disabled person who died at age 55 or older.

Lastly, if approved, Proposition 8 offers a property tax exemption for the widow or widower of Armed Forces personnel killed or fatally injured in the line of duty.”

Texans have until Monday, Oct. 4 to register to vote if documentation is not already on file. Early voting will be Oct. 18 to 29 with Election Day set for Tuesday, Nov. 2.


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