Office of House Bill AnalysisC.S.H.J.R. 69
By: Junell
Constitutional Revision, Select
Committee Report (Substituted)


In 1973, the 63rd Legislature created the Constitutional Revisions
Commission composed of 37 public officials, lawyers, scholars, and citizens
to assemble that same year and to submit recommendations on the
constitutional revision to the legislature.  The subsequent constitutional
convention of the legislature in 1974 submitted a revised constitution to
the public but voters rejected the proposal in 1975.  C.S.H.J.R. 69 amends
certain articles of the Texas Constitution regarding the Legislature, the
judicial and executive branches, and ad valorem taxation and establishes
the Texas Salary Commission subject to voter approval. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this resolution
does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


C.S.H.J.R. 69 revises the Texas Constitution to restructure, modify,
remove, and implement provisions. 

The Legislature

C.S.H.J.R. 69 lengthens from four years to six years the terms of senators
and lengthens from two years to four years the terms of representatives.
The resolution provides for staggered terms, establishes procedures for
representatives following an apportionment, and sets forth transitional
provisions that expire January 1, 2005 (SECTIONS 1 and 2).  The resolution
prohibits a member of the legislature (member) from appearing before or
having dealings with an executive or administrative unit of state
government for compensation other than the emoluments of office (SECTION
3).  The resolution sets forth provisions for the determination of the
compensation of members, including the speaker of the house of
representatives, by the Texas Salary Commission (salary commission)
(SECTION 4).  C.S.H.J.R. 69 authorizes the legislature to provide by law
for an organizational assembly not earlier than the 45th day preceding the
convening of a regular session to elect officers, organize, and adopt rules
of procedure and joint rules (SECTION 5).   

The Executive Branch

With certain exceptions, the resolution prohibits a constitutional elected
officer of the executive branch from holding any other civil or corporate
office or from having any other employment (SECTION 6). 

The Judicial Branch

C.S.H.J.R. 69 requires the jurisdiction of all courts on the same level to
be uniform statewide effective September 1, 2003.  On that date, all
statutes making exceptions from the uniform jurisdiction provided by law
for the courts of any level are repealed.  These provisions expire January
1, 2004 (SECTION 7). 

The resolution authorizes the legislature by law to provide for a jury in a
criminal case to be informed about  a law or other procedure that may
affect the time that a person sentenced to incarceration will serve


C.S.H.J.R. 69 authorizes the legislature to provide exemptions and other
relief from ad valorem taxation in addition to that provided by the Texas
Constitution (SECTION 9).  The resolution prohibits a political subdivision
of this state that did not impose an ad valorem tax on or before September
1, 2001, from imposing an ad valorem tax unless the qualified voters of the
political subdivision approve the imposition of the tax.  The resolution
prohibits a political subdivision of this state from issuing general
obligation bonds, except refunding bonds, unless the bonds are approved by
the voters and prohibits a debt from being created by a political
subdivision unless provision is made for paying the interest and principal
of the debt when due (SECTION 10). 

Texas Salary Commission

C.S.H.J.R. 69 establishes the nine-member salary commission to recommend
the rate of compensation for elected and appointed officers of the
executive branch, for judges of state district courts, and for judges and
justices of appellate courts.  The resolution sets forth the terms of
salary commission members and requires the salary commission to set the
salary of the members of the legislature, the speaker of the house of
representatives, and the lieutenant governor (SECTION 12). 


This proposed constitutional amendment shall be submitted to the voters at
an election to be held November 6, 2001. 


C.S.H.J.R.69 differs from the original by only amending certain articles of
the Texas Constitution, whereas the original proposed a complete revision
of the constitution.  C.S.H.J.R. 69 differs from the original resolution by
removing modifications to the Bill of Rights, Powers of Government, Voter
Qualifications and Elections, Education, and General Provisions articles.
The substitute removes provisions that set term limits for members of the
legislature and prohibited a veto session from exceeding 15 consecutive
days.  The resolution also removes the provision that prohibited members of
the legislature from representing clients before state agencies in an
effort to avoid conflicts of interest.  The substitute modifies provisions
regarding the compensation of the speaker of the house of representatives
and provisions regarding employment and compensation of other members of
the legislature. 

C.S.H.J.R. 69 removes provisions that created the executive department of
the governor and provided that the lieutenant governor receive the same
salary as the governor while serving or acting as governor.  The substitute
removes provisions that modified the powers of the governor, including the
power of the governor to represent the state before the courts, intervene
in any legal action in which the state is a party, and grant reprieves
relating to the execution of death sentences. 

The substitute removes provisions that merged the Court of Criminal Appeals
and the Supreme Court into a single supreme court and increased the number
of supreme court justices.  The substitute adds provisions relating to the
uniformity of the jurisdiction of courts and provisions regarding juries in
criminal cases. 

C.S.H.J.R. 69 authorizes the legislature to provide exemptions and other
relief from ad valorem taxation, while the original prohibited the levying
of state ad valorem tax on real property or tangible personal property for
a purpose other than the support of public free schools.  The substitute
removes provisions regarding state personal income tax, the execution of a
budget, state debt, limit on state debt, limitations on certain
appropriations, and the Texas growth fund.   

 The substitute removes provisions regarding urban homesteads and an
official oath for each state and local officer.  The substitute also
removes the definitions for "marriage" and "spouse" and the provision that
specified that current wages are only subject to garnishment for the
enforcement of court-ordered child support payments or spousal maintenance.