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It’s official: Despite lawsuits, constitutional amendments approved in November will go into effect

Voters line up outside of the election poll at Zilker Elementary School on Nov. 8, 2022, in Austin. Michael Minasi / KUT News
Michael Minasi
Voters line up outside of the election poll at Zilker Elementary School on Nov. 8, 2022, in Austin.

The 13 constitutional amendments that passed in Texas’ November election will be implemented, despite a handful of lawsuits filed by far-right activists challenging that election.

Up until this week, it was unclear whether the constitutional amendments — which include a cost-of-living adjustment for retired teachers and property tax cuts for homeowners — were going to take effect. That’s because the lawsuits were preventing Gov. Greg Abbott from certifying the election results.

But on Thursday, Abbott’s office confirmed to The Texas Newsroom the will of the voters prevailed, and the amendments would go into effect without delay.

“Texas is implementing all voter-approved amendments, including the largest property tax cut in Texas history, retired teacher salary raises, and historic investments into electricity generation, our state parks, and our water supply and infrastructure,” said Andrew Mahaleris, Abbott’s press secretary, in a statement.

The news puts to bed confusion created last week when the Texas Senate rushed a measure Republicans claimed would allow the state to skirt the lawsuits.

Senate Bill 6, filed by Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, would have significantly shortened the window to challenge a constitutional amendment election.

"If this bill is not passed, and if this case is slow in the courts … that means the property tax cuts that Texans are expecting are in jeopardy,” Hughes said last week.

But the proposal stalled in the Texas House of Representatives.

Hughes didn’t respond to a request for comment for this story. He has previously made baseless claims regarding election security. Hughes has also pushed for legislation that tightened the state’s election laws.

According to The Texas Tribune, the lawsuits challenging the state’s November election “are based on false claims that Texas’ voting equipment is not certified and that voting machines are connected to the Internet.”

Copyright 2023 KUT News. To see more, visit KUT News.

Sergio Martínez-Beltrán