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How is the Texas Constitution changed?

As you’ve read in your text, changes to the Texas Constitution are proposed by the state legislature, but can only be approved by a majority vote in a statewide election. In 2017, voters adopted all seven amendments proposed by the state legislature. In 2019, legislators proposed ten amendments for voter consideration, all but one of which passed.

Legislators are already filing legislation to suggest constitutional amendments for the upcoming 2021 session, one of which would abolish daylight savings time in Texas.

Is this a good idea? On the one hand, lots of Texans hate daylight savings time, and it’s a pain to change clocks back and forth every few months. On the other hand, would it be a bigger pain to have Texas on a different time than the rest of the central time zone for half of each year? If you’ve ever driven through Arizona, which doesn’t follow daylight savings time, you know have to change your clocks one way as you cross the border from New Mexico, then two hours the other way when you cross the border into California – changing from Mountain Daylight Time to Pacific Standard Time. To make things worse, the many large Indian reservations in Arizona do observe daylight savings time, so…nobody traveling through Arizona ever knows what time it is.

Write a 2 -5 page (double-spaced, normal font and margins, cited sources, etc.) essay about S.J.R. 13 . Make sure you essay tells your reader:

1. How could this actually become part of the Texas Constitution? (Go through the process by which it would have to pass both the House and Senate, then get a majority of voters to agree)

2. What is this proposal designed to do?

3. Who do you think might be for and against this?

4. What potential problems could this create, if any?

5. How would you vote on this if you were a state legislator?

6. How will you vote on this as a voter if it gets to the ballot?

Submit in Word (.docx). Cite your sources. 

Additional Resources

Here’s S.J.R. 13: https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=87R&Bill=SJR13 (Links to an external site.)

Legislators tried this two years ago: https://www.texastribune.org/2019/02/26/texas-lawmakers-end-daylight-saving-time-1550177496/ (Links to an external site.)

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram covered the issue two years ago: https://www.star-telegram.com/news/state/texas/article227202644.html (Links to an external site.) 

Reform Austin wonders if we still need daylight savings time: https://www.reformaustin.org/texas-legislature/does-texas-need-daylight-savings-time/ (Links to an external site.)

Here’s a good analysis of all of last year’s proposed amendments from the Texas Legislative Council: https://lrl.texas.gov/scanned/Constitutional_Amendments/amendments86_tlc_2019-11-05.pdf (Links to an external site.)