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Article 3, Sections 50-67, Texas Constitution

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Texas Constitution
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Preamble
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3 (1-43)3 (44-49)3 (50-67)
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Article 3 of the Texas Constitution is labeled "Legislative Department."

Section 50

Text of Section 50:

Loan or Pledge of Credit of State

LOAN OR PLEDGE OF CREDIT OF STATE.

The Legislature shall have no power to give or to lend, or to authorize the giving or lending, of the credit of the State in aid of, or to any person, association or corporation, whether municipal or other, or to pledge the credit of the State in any manner whatsoever, for the payment of the liabilities, present or prospective, of any individual, association of individuals, municipal or other corporation whatsoever.

Section 50a

Text of Section 50a:

(Repealed November 5, 2013.)

Amendments

  • Repealed on November 5, 2013 via voter approval of Proposition 2.
  • (Added Nov. 4, 1952.)

Section 50b

Text of Section 50b:

(Repealed Nov. 2, 1999.)

(TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISIONS for Sec. 50b: See Appendix, Note 1.)

Section 50b(1)

Text of Section 50b(1):

(Repealed Nov. 2, 1999.)

(TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISIONS for Sec. 50b-1: See Appendix, Note 1.)

Section 50b(2)

Text of Section 50b(2):

(Repealed Nov. 2, 1999.)

(TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISIONS for Sec. 50b-2: See Appendix, Note 1.)

Section 50b(3)

Text of Section 50b(3):

(Repealed Nov. 2, 1999.)

(TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISIONS for Sec. 50b-3: See Appendix, Note 1.)

Section 50b(4)

Text of Section 50b(4):

Additional Student Loans

(a) The legislature by general law may authorize the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board or its successor or successors to issue and sell general obligation bonds of the State of Texas in an amount authorized by constitutional amendment or by a debt proposition under Section 49 of this article to finance educational loans to students who have been admitted to attend an institution of higher education within the State of Texas, public or private, which is recognized or accredited under terms and conditions prescribed by the Legislature.

(b) The bonds shall be executed in the form, on the terms, and in the denominations, bear interest, and be issued in installments as prescribed by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board or its successor or successors.

(c) The maximum net effective interest rate to be borne by bonds issued under this section must be set by law.

(d) The legislature may provide for the investment of bond proceeds and may establish and provide for the investment of an interest and sinking fund to pay the bonds. Income from the investment shall be used for the purposes prescribed by the legislature.

(e) While any of the bonds issued under this section or interest on the bonds is outstanding and unpaid, there is appropriated out of the first money coming into the treasury in each fiscal year, not otherwise appropriated by this constitution, the amount sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds that mature or become due during the fiscal year, less any amount in an interest and sinking fund established under this section at the end of the preceding fiscal year that is pledged to the payment of the bonds or interest.

(f) Bonds issued under this section, after approval by the attorney general, registration by the comptroller of public accounts, and delivery to the purchasers, are incontestable.

Amendments

(Added Nov. 7, 1995; Subsec. (a) amended Nov. 2, 1999.) (TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISIONS for Sec. 50b-4: See Appendix, Note 1.)

Section 50b(5)

Text of Section 50b(5):

Additional Student Loans

(a) The legislature by general law may authorize the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board or its successor or successors to issue and sell general obligation bonds of the State of Texas in an amount not to exceed $400 million to finance educational loans to students. The bonds are in addition to those bonds issued under Sections 50b, 50b-1, 50b-2, 50b-3, and 50b-4 of this article.

(b) The bonds shall be executed in the form, on the terms, and in the denominations, bear interest, and be issued in installments as prescribed by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board or its successor or successors.

(c) The maximum net effective interest rate to be borne by bonds issued under this section may not exceed the maximum rate provided by law.

(d) The legislature may provide for the investment of bond proceeds and may establish and provide for the investment of an interest and sinking fund to pay the bonds. Income from the investment shall be used for the purposes prescribed by the legislature.

(e) While any of the bonds issued under this section or interest on the bonds is outstanding and unpaid, there is appropriated out of the first money coming into the treasury in each fiscal year, not otherwise appropriated by this constitution, the amount sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds that mature or become due during the fiscal year, less any amount in an interest and sinking fund established under this section at the end of the preceding fiscal year that is pledged to the payment of the bonds or interest.

(f) Bonds issued under this section, after approval by the attorney general, registration by the comptroller of public accounts, and delivery to the purchasers, are incontestable.

Amendments

(Added Nov. 2, 1999.)

Section 50b(6)

Text of Section 50b(6):

Additional Student Loans

(a) The legislature by general law may authorize the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board or its successor or successors to issue and sell general obligation bonds of the State of Texas in an amount not to exceed $500 million in order to finance educational loans to students in the manner provided by law. The bonds are in addition to bonds issued under Sections 50b-4 and 50b-5 of this article and under any other provision or former provision of this constitution authorizing similar bonds.

(b) The bonds shall be executed in the form, on the terms, and in the denominations, bear interest, and be issued in installments as prescribed by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board or its successor or successors.

(c) The maximum net effective interest rate to be borne by bonds issued under this section may not exceed the maximum rate provided by law.

(d) The legislature may provide for the investment of bond proceeds and may establish and provide for the investment of an interest and sinking fund to pay the bonds. Income from the investment shall be used for the purposes prescribed by the legislature.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, there is appropriated out of the first money coming into the treasury in each fiscal year, not otherwise appropriated by this constitution, the amount sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on any bonds issued under this section, under Sections 50b-4 and 50b-5 of this article, and under any other provision or former provision of this article authorizing similar bonds that mature or become due during the fiscal year, less any amount remaining in an interest and sinking fund established under this section, Section 50b-4 or 50b-5 of this article, or any other provision or former provision of this article authorizing similar bonds at the end of the preceding fiscal year that is pledged to the payment of the bonds or interest.

(f) Bonds issued under this section, after approval by the attorney general, registration by the comptroller of public accounts, and delivery to the purchasers, are incontestable.

Amendments

(Added Nov. 6, 2007.)

Section 50b(6A)

Text of Section 50b(6A):

Authorizing Bond Enhancement Agreements with Respect to Bonds Issued for Additional Student Loans

The legislature by general law may provide for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board or its successor or successors to enter into bond enhancement agreements with appropriate entities with respect to any bonds issued under Section 50b-4, 50b-5, or 50b-6 of this article or under any other provision or former provision of this article authorizing similar bonds. Payments due from the coordinating board under a bond enhancement agreement with respect to the principal of or interest on the bonds shall be treated for purposes of this constitution as payments of the principal of and interest on the bonds, and money appropriated for the purpose of paying the principal of and interest on the bonds as they mature or become due may be used to make payments under bond enhancement agreements authorized by this section with respect to the bonds.

(Added Nov. 6, 2007.)

Section 50b-7

Text of Section 50b-7:
(a) The legislature by general law may authorize the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board or its successor or successors to issue and sell general obligation bonds of the State of Texas for the purpose of financing educational loans to students in the manner provided by law. The principal amount of outstanding bonds issued under this section must at all times be equal to or less than the aggregate principal amount of state general obligation bonds previously authorized for that purpose by any other provision or former provision of this constitution.
(b) The bonds shall be executed in the form, on the terms, and in the denominations, bear interest, and be issued in installments as prescribed by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board or its successor or successors.
(c) The maximum net effective interest rate to be borne by bonds issued under this section may not exceed the maximum rate provided by law.
(d) The legislature may provide for the investment of bond proceeds and may establish and provide for the investment of an interest and sinking fund to pay the bonds. Income from the investment shall be used for the purposes prescribed by the legislature.
(e) While any of the bonds issued under this section or interest on the bonds is outstanding and unpaid, there is appropriated out of the first money coming into the treasury in each fiscal year, not otherwise appropriated by this constitution, the amount sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on the bonds that mature or become due during the fiscal year, less any amount in an interest and sinking fund established under this section at the end of the preceding fiscal year that is pledged to the payment of the bonds or interest.
(f) Bonds issued under this section, after approval by the attorney general, registration by the comptroller of public accounts, and delivery to the purchasers, are incontestable.

(Added Nov. 8, 2011)

Section 50c

Text of Section 50c:

Farm and Ranch Loans

(a) The legislature may provide that the commissioner of agriculture shall have the authority to provide for, issue, and sell general obligation bonds of the State of Texas in an amount not to exceed $10 million. The bonds shall be called "Farm and Ranch Loan Security Bonds" and shall be executed in such form, denominations, and on such terms as may be prescribed by law. The bonds shall bear interest rates fixed by the Legislature of the State of Texas.

(b) All money received from the sale of Farm and Ranch Loan Security Bonds shall be deposited in a fund hereby created with the comptroller of public accounts to be known as the "Farm and Ranch Loan Security Fund." This fund shall be administered without further appropriation by the commissioner of agriculture in the manner prescribed by law.

(c) The Farm and Ranch Loan Security Fund shall be used by the commissioner of agriculture under provisions prescribed by the legislature for the purpose of guaranteeing loans used for the purchase of farm and ranch real estate, for acquiring real estate mortgages or deeds of trust on lands purchased with guaranteed loans, and to advance to the borrower a percentage of the principal and interest due on those loans; provided that the commissioner shall require at least six percent interest be paid by the borrower on any advance of principal and interest. The legislature may authorize the commissioner to sell at foreclosure any land acquired in this manner, and proceeds from that sale shall be deposited in the Farm and Ranch Loan Security Fund.

(d) The legislature may provide for the investment of money available in the Farm and Ranch Loan Security Fund and the interest and sinking fund established for the payment of bonds issued by the commissioner of agriculture. Income from the investment shall be used for purposes prescribed by the legislature.

(e) While any of the bonds authorized by this section or any interest on those bonds is outstanding and unpaid, there is hereby appropriated out of the first money coming into the treasury in each fiscal year not otherwise appropriated by this constitution an amount that is sufficient to pay the principal and interest on the bonds that mature or become due during the fiscal year less the amount in the interest and sinking fund at the close of the prior fiscal year.

Amendments

(Added Nov. 6, 1979; Subsec. (b) amended Nov. 7, 1995.)

Section 50d

Text of Section 50d:

Agricultural Water Conservation Bonds

(a) On a two-thirds vote of the members elected to each house of the legislature, the Texas Water Development Board may issue and sell Texas agricultural water conservation bonds in an amount not to exceed $200 million.

(b) The proceeds from the sale of Texas agricultural water conservation bonds shall be deposited in a fund created in the state treasury to be known as the agricultural water conservation fund.

(c) Texas agricultural water conservation bonds are general obligations of the State of Texas. During the time that Texas agricultural water conservation bonds or any interest on those bonds is outstanding or unpaid, there is appropriated out of the first money coming into the state treasury in each fiscal year, not otherwise appropriated by this constitution, an amount that is sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on those bonds that mature or become due during that fiscal year.

(d) The terms, conditions, provisions, and procedures for issuance and sale and management of proceeds of Texas agricultural water conservation bonds shall be provided by law. (Added Nov. 5, 1985; Subsec. (c) amended Nov. 4, 1997.)

(e) (Added Nov. 5, 1985; repealed Nov. 7, 1989.)

Amendments

Section 50e

Text of Section 50e:

Guarantee of Texas Grain Warehouse Self-Insurance Fund

(a) For the purposes of providing surety for the Texas grain warehouse self-insurance fund, the legislature by general law may establish or provide for a guarantee of the fund not to exceed $5 million.

(b) At the beginning of the fiscal year after the fund reaches $5 million, as certified by the comptroller of public accounts, the guarantee of the fund shall cease and this provision shall expire.

(c) Should the legislature enact any enabling laws in anticipation of this amendment, no such law shall be void by reason of its anticipating nature.

(d) If the provisions of this section conflict with any other provisions of this constitution, the provisions of this section shall prevail.

Amendments

(Added Nov. 3, 1987.)

Section 50f

Text of Section 50f:

Issuance of General Obligation Bonds for Construction and Repair Projects; Purchase of Equipment

(a) The legislature by general law may authorize the Texas Public Finance Authority to provide for, issue, and sell general obligation bonds of the State of Texas in an amount not to exceed $850 million and to enter into related credit agreements. The bonds shall be executed in the form, on the terms, and in the denominations, bear interest, and be issued in installments as prescribed by the Texas Public Finance Authority.

(b) Proceeds from the sale of the bonds shall be deposited in a separate fund or account within the state treasury created by the comptroller for this purpose. Money in the separate fund or account may be used only to pay for:

(1) construction and repair projects authorized by the legislature by general law or the General Appropriations Act and administered by or on behalf of the General Services Commission, the Texas Youth Commission, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, the Parks and Wildlife Department, the adjutant general's department, the Texas School for the Deaf, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Public Safety of the State of Texas, the State Preservation Board, the Texas Department of Health, the Texas Historical Commission, or the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired; or
(2) the purchase, as authorized by the legislature by general law or the General Appropriations Act, of needed equipment by or on behalf of a state agency listed in Subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(c) The maximum net effective interest rate to be borne by bonds issued under this section may be set by general law.

(d) While any of the bonds or interest on the bonds authorized by this section is outstanding and unpaid, from the first money coming into the state treasury in each fiscal year not otherwise appropriated by this constitution, an amount sufficient to pay the principal and interest on bonds that mature or become due during the fiscal year and to make payments that become due under a related credit agreement during the fiscal year is appropriated, less the amount in the sinking fund at the close of the previous fiscal year.

(e) Bonds issued under this section, after approval by the attorney general, registration by the comptroller of public accounts, and delivery to the purchasers, are incontestable and are general obligations of the State of Texas under this constitution.

Amendments

(Added Nov. 6, 2001.)

Section 50g

Text of Section 50g:

General Obligation Bonds Issued for Maintenance, Improvement, Repair, or Construction Projects

(a) The legislature by general law may authorize the Texas Public Finance Authority to provide for, issue, and sell general obligation bonds of the State of Texas in an amount not to exceed $1 billion and to enter into related credit agreements. The bonds shall be executed in the form, on the terms, and in the denominations, bear interest, and be issued in installments as prescribed by the Texas Public Finance Authority.

(b) Proceeds from the sale of the bonds shall be deposited in a separate fund or account within the state treasury created by the comptroller of public accounts for this purpose. Money in the separate fund or account may be used only to pay for:

(1) maintenance, improvement, repair, or construction projects authorized by the legislature by general law or the General Appropriations Act and administered by or on behalf of the Texas Building and Procurement Commission, the Parks and Wildlife Department, the adjutant general's department, the Department of State Health Services, the Department of Aging and Disability Services, the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Texas Youth Commission, the Texas Historical Commission, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the Texas School for the Deaf, or the Department of Public Safety of the State of Texas; or
(2) the purchase, as authorized by the legislature by general law or the General Appropriations Act, of needed equipment by or on behalf of a state agency listed in Subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(c) The maximum net effective interest rate to be borne by bonds issued under this section may be set by general law.

(d) While any of the bonds or interest on the bonds authorized by this section is outstanding and unpaid, from the first money coming into the state treasury in each fiscal year not otherwise appropriated by this constitution, an amount sufficient to pay the principal and interest on bonds that mature or become due during the fiscal year and to make payments that become due under a related credit agreement during the fiscal year is appropriated, less the amount in the sinking fund at the close of the previous fiscal year.

(e) Bonds issued under this section, after approval by the attorney general, registration by the comptroller of public accounts, and delivery to the purchasers, are incontestable and are general obligations of the State of Texas under this constitution.

Amendments

(Added Nov. 6, 2007.)

Section 51

Text of Section 51:

Grants of Public Money Prohibited; Exceptions

The Legislature shall have no power to make any grant or authorize the making of any grant of public moneys to any individual, association of individuals, municipal or other corporations whatsoever; provided that the provisions of this Section shall not be construed so as to prevent the grant of aid in cases of public calamity.

Amendments

(Amended Nov. 6, 1894, Nov. 1, 1898, Nov. 8, 1904, Nov. 8, 1910, Nov. 5, 1912, Nov. 4, 1924, Nov. 6, 1928, Nov. 5, 1968, and Nov. 2, 1999.) (TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISIONS for Sec. 51: See Appendix, Note 1.)

Section 51a

Text of Section 51a:

Assistance Grants and Medical Care for Needy Aged, Disabled, and Blind Persons and Needy Children; Federal Funds

(a) The Legislature shall have the power, by General Laws, to provide, subject to limitations herein contained, and such other limitations, restrictions and regulations as may by the Legislature be deemed expedient, for assistance grants to needy dependent children and the caretakers of such children, needy persons who are totally and permanently disabled because of a mental or physical handicap, needy aged persons and needy blind persons.

(b) The Legislature may provide by General Law for medical care, rehabilitation and other similar services for needy persons. The Legislature may prescribe such other eligibility requirements for participation in these programs as it deems appropriate and may make appropriations out of state funds for such purposes. The maximum amount paid out of state funds for assistance grants to or on behalf of needy dependent children and their caretakers shall not exceed one percent of the state budget. The Legislature by general statute shall provide for the means for determining the state budget amounts, including state and other funds appropriated by the Legislature, to be used in establishing the biennial limit.

(c) Provided further, that if the limitations and restrictions herein contained are found to be in conflict with the provisions of appropriate federal statutes, as they now are or as they may be amended to the extent that federal matching money is not available to the state for these purposes, then and in that event the Legislature is specifically authorized and empowered to prescribe such limitations and restrictions and enact such laws as may be necessary in order that such federal matching money will be available for assistance and/or medical care for or on behalf of needy persons.

(d) Nothing in this Section shall be construed to amend, modify or repeal Section 31 of Article XVI of this Constitution; provided further, however, that such medical care, services or assistance shall also include the employment of objective or subjective means, without the use of drugs, for the purpose of ascertaining and measuring the powers of vision of the human eye, and fitting lenses or prisms to correct or remedy any defect or abnormal condition of vision. Nothing herein shall be construed to permit optometrists to treat the eyes for any defect whatsoever in any manner nor to administer nor to prescribe any drug or physical treatment whatsoever, unless such optometrist is a regularly licensed physician or surgeon under the laws of this state.

Amendments

(Added Aug. 25, 1945; amended Nov. 2, 1954, Nov. 5, 1957, Nov. 6, 1962, Nov. 9, 1963, Nov. 2, 1965, Aug. 5, 1969, Nov. 2, 1982, and Nov. 2, 1999.) (TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISIONS for Sec. 51-a: See Appendix, Note 1.)

Section 51a(1)

Text of Section 51a(1):

Assistance to Local Fire Departments

(a) The legislature by general law may authorize the use of public money to provide to local fire departments and other public fire-fighting organizations:

(1) loans or other financial assistance to purchase fire-fighting equipment and to aid in providing necessary equipment and facilities to comply with federal and state law; and
(2) scholarships and grants to educate and train the members of local fire departments and other public fire-fighting organizations.

(b) A portion of the money used under this section may be used for the administrative costs of the program. The legislature shall provide for the terms and conditions of scholarships, grants, loans, and other financial assistance to be provided under this section.

Amendments

(Added Nov. 7, 1989.)

Section 51b

Text of Section 51b:

Sec. 51-b.

Amendments

(Repealed Nov. 7, 1978.)

Section 51c

Text of Section 51c:

Aid or Compensation to Persons Improperly Fined or Imprisoned

The Legislature may grant aid and compensation to any person who has heretofore paid a fine or served a sentence in prison, or who may hereafter pay a fine or serve a sentence in prison, under the laws of this State for an offense for which he or she is not guilty, under such regulations and limitations as the Legislature may deem expedient.

Amendments

(Added Nov. 6, 1956.)

Section 51d

Text of Section 51d:

Payment of Assistance to Survivors of Laws Enforcement and Other Officers

The Legislature shall have the power, by general law, to provide for the payment of assistance by the State of Texas to the surviving spouse, minor children, and surviving dependent parents, brothers, and sisters of officers, employees, and agents, including members of organized volunteer fire departments and members of organized police reserve or auxiliary units with authority to make an arrest, of the state or of any city, county, district, or other political subdivision who, because of the hazardous nature of their duties, suffer death in the course of the performance of those official duties. Should the Legislature enact any enabling laws in anticipation of this amendment, no such law shall be void by reason of its anticipatory nature.

Amendments

(Added Nov. 8, 1966; amended Aug. 5, 1969, and Nov. 6, 1984.)

Section 51e

Text of Section 51e:

Freedom and Sovereignty of State

Sec. 51-e.

Amendments

(Repealed April 22, 1975.)

Section 51f

Text of Section 51f:

Sec. 51-f.

(Repealed April 22, 1975.)

Section 51g

Text of Section 51g:

Social Security Coverage of Proprietary Employees of Political Subdivisions

The Legislature shall have the power to pass such laws as may be necessary to enable the State to enter into agreements with the Federal Government to obtain for proprietary employees of its political subdivisions coverage under the old-age and survivors insurance provisions of Title II of the Federal Social Security Act as amended. The Legislature shall have the power to make appropriations and authorize all obligations necessary to the establishment of such Social Security coverage program.

Amendments

(Added Nov. 2, 1954.)

Section 52

Text of Section 52:

Counties, Cities or Other Political Corporations or Subdivisions; Lending Credit; Grants; Bonds.

(a) Except as otherwise provided by this section, the Legislature shall have no power to authorize any county, city, town or other political corporation or subdivision of the State to lend its credit or to grant public money or thing of value in aid of, or to any individual, association or corporation whatsoever, or to become a stockholder in such corporation, association or company. However, this section does not prohibit the use of public funds or credit for the payment of premiums on nonassessable property and casualty, life, health, or accident insurance policies and annuity contracts issued by a mutual insurance company authorized to do business in this State.

(b) Under Legislative provision, any county, political subdivision of a county, number of adjoining counties, political subdivision of the State, or defined district now or hereafter to be described and defined within the State of Texas, and which may or may not include, towns, villages or municipal corporations, upon a vote of two-thirds majority of the voting qualified voters of such district or territory to be affected thereby, may issue bonds or otherwise lend its credit in any amount not to exceed one-fourth of the assessed valuation of the real property of such district or territory, except that the total bonded indebtedness of any city or town shall never exceed the limits imposed by other provisions of this Constitution, and levy and collect taxes to pay the interest thereon and provide a sinking fund for the redemption thereof, as the Legislature may authorize, and in such manner as it may authorize the same, for the following purposes to wit:

(1) The improvement of rivers, creeks, and streams to prevent overflows, and to permit of navigation thereof, or irrigation thereof, or in aid of such purposes.
(2) The construction and maintenance of pools, lakes, reservoirs, dams, canals and waterways for the purposes of irrigation, drainage or navigation, or in aid thereof.
(3) The construction, maintenance and operation of macadamized, graveled or paved roads and turnpikes, or in aid thereof.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of Subsection (b) of this Section, bonds may be issued by any county in an amount not to exceed one-fourth of the assessed valuation of the real property in the county, for the construction, maintenance, and operation of macadamized, graveled, or paved roads and turnpikes, or in aid thereof, upon a vote of a majority of the voting qualified voters of the county, and without the necessity of further or amendatory legislation. The county may levy and collect taxes to pay the interest on the bonds as it becomes due and to provide a sinking fund for redemption of the bonds.

(d) Any defined district created under this section that is authorized to issue bonds or otherwise lend its credit for the purposes stated in Subdivisions (1) and (2) of Subsection (b) of this section may engage in fire-fighting activities and may issue bonds or otherwise lend its credit for fire-fighting purposes as provided by law and this constitution.

(e) A county, city, town, or other political corporation or subdivision of the state may invest its funds as authorized by law.

Amendments

(Amended Nov. 8, 1904; Subsecs. (a) and (b) amended and (c) added Nov. 3, 1970; Subsec. (d) added Nov. 7, 1978; Subsec. (a) amended Nov. 4, 1986; Subsec. (e) added Nov. 7, 1989; Subsecs. (a), (b), and (c) amended Nov. 2, 1999.) (TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISIONS for Sec. 52: See Appendix, Note 1.)


Section 52a

Text of Section 52a:

Loan or Grant of Public Money for Economic Development

Notwithstanding any other provision of this constitution, the legislature may provide for the creation of programs and the making of loans and grants of public money, other than money otherwise dedicated by this constitution to use for a different purpose, for the public purposes of development and diversification of the economy of the state, the elimination of unemployment or underemployment in the state, the stimulation of agricultural innovation, the fostering of the growth of enterprises based on agriculture, or the development or expansion of transportation or commerce in the state. Any bonds or other obligations of a county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state that are issued for the purpose of making loans or grants in connection with a program authorized by the legislature under this section and that are payable from ad valorem taxes must be approved by a vote of the majority of the registered voters of the county, municipality, or political subdivision voting on the issue. A program created or a loan or grant made as provided by this section that is not secured by a pledge of ad valorem taxes or financed by the issuance of any bonds or other obligations payable from ad valorem taxes of the political subdivision does not constitute or create a debt for the purpose of any provision of this constitution. An enabling law enacted by the legislature in anticipation of the adoption of this amendment is not void because of its anticipatory character.

Amendments

(Added Nov. 3, 1987; amended Nov. 8, 2005.)

Section 52b

Text of Section 52b:

Loan of State's Credit or Grant of Public Money for Toll Road Purposes

The Legislature shall have no power or authority to in any manner lend the credit of the State or grant any public money to, or assume any indebtedness, present or future, bonded or otherwise, of any individual, person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, public corporation, public agency, or political subdivision of the State, or anyone else, which is now or hereafter authorized to construct, maintain or operate toll roads and turnpikes within this State except that the Legislature may authorize the Texas Department of Transportation to expend, grant, or loan money, from any source available, for the acquisition, construction, maintenance, or operation of turnpikes, toll roads, and toll bridges.

Amendments

(Added Nov. 2, 1954; amended Nov. 5, 1991, and Nov. 6, 2001.)

Section 52c

Text of Section 52c:

Sec. 52-c.

(Blank.)

Section 52d

Text of Section 52d:

County or Road District Tax for Road Purposes

(a) Upon the vote of a majority of the qualified voters so authorizing, a county or road district may collect an annual tax for a period not exceeding five (5) years to create a fund for constructing lasting and permanent roads and bridges or both. No contract involving the expenditure of any of such fund shall be valid unless, when it is made, money shall be on hand in such fund.

(b) At such election, the Commissioners' Court shall submit for adoption a road plan and designate the amount of special tax to be levied; the number of years said tax is to be levied; the location, description, and character of the roads and bridges; and the estimated cost thereof. The funds raised by such taxes shall not be used for purposes other than those specified in the plan submitted to the voters. Elections may be held from time to time to extend or discontinue said plan or to increase or diminish said tax. The Legislature shall enact laws prescribing the procedure hereunder.

(c) The provisions of this section shall apply only to Harris County and road districts therein.

Amendments

(Added Aug. 23, 1937; amended Nov. 2, 1999.) (TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISIONS for Sec. 52d: See Appendix, Note 1.)

Section 52e

Text of Section 52e:

Payment of Medical Expenses of Law Enforcement Officials

Each county in the State of Texas is hereby authorized to pay all medical expenses, all doctor bills and all hospital bills for Sheriffs, Deputy Sheriffs, Constables, Deputy Constables and other county and precinct law enforcement officials who are injured in the course of their official duties; providing that while said Sheriff, Deputy Sheriff, Constable, Deputy Constable or other county or precinct law enforcement official is hospitalized or incapacitated that the county shall continue to pay his maximum salary; providing, however, that said payment of salary shall cease on the expiration of the term of office to which such official was elected or appointed. Provided, however, that no provision contained herein shall be construed to amend, modify, repeal or nullify Article 16, Section 31, of the Constitution of the State of Texas.

Amendments

(Added Nov. 11, 1967.)

Section 52f

Text of Section 52f:

Private Road Work by Certain Counties

A county with a population of 5,000 or less, according to the most recent federal census, may construct and maintain private roads if it imposes a reasonable charge for the work. The Legislature by general law may limit this authority. Revenue received from private road work may be used only for the construction, including right-of-way acquisition, or maintenance of public roads.

Amendments

(Added Nov. 4, 1980.)

Section 52g

Text of Section 52g:

Dallas County Bond Issues for Roads and Turnpikes

Bonds to be issued by Dallas County under Section 52(b)(3) of Article III of this Constitution may, without the necessity of further or amendatory legislation, be issued upon a vote of a majority of the voting qualified voters of said county, and bonds heretofore or hereafter issued under Subsections (a) and (b) of said Section 52 shall not be included in determining the debt limit prescribed in said Section.

Amendments

(Added Nov. 5, 1968; amended Nov. 4, 1997, and Nov. 2, 1999.)

(TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISIONS for Sec. 52g: See Appendix, Note 1.)

Section 52h

Text of Section 52h:

Municipalities to Donate Outdated or Surplus Fire Fighting Equipment to Underdeveloped Countries

A municipality may donate to an underdeveloped country outdated or surplus equipment, supplies, or other materials used in fighting fires.

(Added Nov. 6, 2001.)

Section 52i

Text of Section 52i:

Municipalities to Donate Surplus Fire Fighting Equipment for Rural Fire Protection

(a) A municipality may donate surplus equipment, supplies, or other materials used in fighting fires to the Texas Forest Service or to a successor agency authorized to cooperate in the development of rural fire protection plans.

(b) The Texas Forest Service or the successor agency may, based on need, redistribute to rural volunteer fire departments the equipment, supplies, or materials donated under Subsection (a).

Amendments

(Added Sept. 13, 2003.)

Section 52j

Text of Section 52j:

Sale of Real Property Acquired through Eminent Domain

A governmental entity may sell real property acquired through eminent domain to the person who owned the real property interest immediately before the governmental entity acquired the property interest, or to the person's heirs, successors, or assigns, at the price the entity paid at the time of acquisition if:

(1) the public use for which the property was acquired through eminent domain is canceled;
(2) no actual progress is made toward the public use during a prescribed period of time; or
(3) the property is unnecessary for the public use.

(Added Nov. 6, 2007.)

Section 53

Text of Section 53:

County or Municipal Authorities; Extra Compensation; Unauthorized Claims

The Legislature shall have no power to grant, or to authorize any county or municipal authority to grant, any extra compensation, fee or allowance to a public officer, agent, servant or contractor, after service has been rendered, or a contract has been entered into, and performed in whole or in part; nor pay, nor authorize the payment of, any claim created against any county or municipality of the State, under any agreement or contract, made without authority of law.

Section 54

Text of Section 54:

(Repealed Nov. 2, 1999.)

(TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISIONS for Sec. 54: See Appendix, Note 1.)


Section 55

Text of Section 55:

Release or Extinguishment of Indebtedness to State, County, Subdivision, or Municipal Corporation

The Legislature shall have no power to release or extinguish, or to authorize the releasing or extinguishing, in whole or in part, the indebtedness, liability or obligation of any corporation or individual, to this State or to any county or defined subdivision thereof, or other municipal corporation therein, except delinquent taxes which have been due for a period of at least ten years.

Amendments

(Amended Nov. 8, 1932.)

Section 56

Text of Section 56:

Local and Special Laws

(a) The Legislature shall not, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, pass any local or special law, authorizing:

(1) the creation, extension or impairing of liens;
(2) regulating the affairs of counties, cities, towns, wards or school districts;
(3) changing the names of persons or places;
(4) changing the venue in civil or criminal cases;
(5) authorizing the laying out, opening, altering or maintaining of roads, highways, streets or alleys;
(6) relating to ferries or bridges, or incorporating ferry or bridge companies, except for the erection of bridges crossing streams which form boundaries between this and any other State;
(7) vacating roads, town plats, streets or alleys;
(8) relating to cemeteries, grave-yards or public grounds not of the State;
(9) authorizing the adoption or legitimation of children;
(10) locating or changing county seats;
(11) incorporating cities, towns or villages, or changing their charters;
(12) for the opening and conducting of elections, or fixing or changing the places of voting;
(13) granting divorces;
(14) creating offices, or prescribing the powers and duties of officers, in counties, cities, towns, election or school districts;
(15) changing the law of descent or succession;
(16) regulating the practice or jurisdiction of, or changing the rules of evidence in any judicial proceeding or inquiry before courts, justices of the peace, sheriffs, commissioners, arbitrators or other tribunals, or providing or changing methods for the collection of debts, or the enforcing of judgments, or prescribing the effect of judicial sales of real estate;
(17) regulating the fees, or extending the powers and duties of aldermen, justices of the peace, magistrates or constables;
(18) regulating the management of public schools, the building or repairing of school houses, and the raising of money for such purposes;
(19) fixing the rate of interest;
(20) affecting the estates of minors, or persons under disability;
(21) remitting fines, penalties and forfeitures, and refunding moneys legally paid into the treasury;
(22) exempting property from taxation;
(23) regulating labor, trade, mining and manufacturing;
(24) declaring any named person of age;
(25) extending the time for the assessment or collection of taxes, or otherwise relieving any assessor or collector of taxes from the due performance of his official duties, or his securities from liability;
(26) giving effect to informal or invalid wills or deeds;
(27) summoning or empanelling grand or petit juries;
(28) for limitation of civil or criminal actions;
(29) for incorporating railroads or other works of internal improvements; or
(30) relieving or discharging any person or set of persons from the performance of any public duty or service imposed by general law.

(b) In addition to those laws described by Subsection (a) of this section in all other cases where a general law can be made applicable, no local or special law shall be enacted; provided, that nothing herein contained shall be construed to prohibit the Legislature from passing:

(1) special laws for the preservation of the game and fish of this State in certain localities; and
(2) fence laws applicable to any subdivision of this State or counties as may be needed to meet the wants of the people.

Amendments

(Amended Nov. 6, 2001.) (TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISION for Sec. 56: See Appendix, Note 3.)

Section 57

Text of Section 57:

Notice of Intention to Apply for Local or Special Laws

No local or special law shall be passed, unless notice of the intention to apply therefore shall have been published in the locality where the matter or thing to be affected may be situated, which notice shall state the substance of the contemplated law, and shall be published at least thirty days prior to the introduction into the Legislature of such bill and in the manner to be provided by law. The evidence of such notice having been published, shall be exhibited in the Legislature, before such act shall be passed.

Section 58

Text of Section 58:

Seat of Government

The Legislature shall hold its sessions at the City of Austin, which is hereby declared to be the seat of government.

Section 59

Text of Section 59:

Workers' Compensation Insurance for State Employees

The Legislature shall have power to pass such laws as may be necessary to provide for Workers' Compensation Insurance for such State employees, as in its judgment is necessary or required; and to provide for the payment of all costs, charges, and premiums on such policies of insurance; providing the State shall never be required to purchase insurance for any employee.

Amendments

(Added Nov. 3, 1936; amended Nov. 6, 2001.) (TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISION for Sec. 59: See Appendix, Note 3.)

Section 60

Text of Section 60:

Workers' Compensation Insurance for Employees of Counties and Other Political Subdivisions

The Legislature shall have the power to pass such laws as may be necessary to enable all counties, cities, towns, villages, and other political subdivisions of this State to provide Workers' Compensation Insurance, including the right of a political subdivision to provide its own insurance risk, for all employees of the political subdivision as in its judgment is necessary or required; and the Legislature shall provide suitable laws for the administration of such insurance in the counties, cities, towns, villages, or other political subdivisions of this State and for the payment of the costs, charges and premiums on such policies of insurance and the benefits to be paid thereunder.

Amendments

(Added Nov. 2, 1948; amended Nov. 6, 1962, and Nov. 6, 2001.) (TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISION for Sec. 60: See Appendix, Note 3.)

Section 61

Text of Section 1:

Sec. 61.

(Repealed Nov. 6, 2001.)

(TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISION for Sec. 61: See Appendix, Note 3.)

Section 61a

Text of Section 61a:

Minimum Salaries

The Legislature shall not fix the salary of the Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller of Public Accounts, Commissioner of the General Land Office or Secretary of State at a sum less than that fixed for such officials in the Constitution on January 1, 1953.

(Added Nov. 2, 1954; amended Nov. 7, 1995, and Nov. 4, 1997.)

Section 62

Text of Section 62:

Continuity of State and Local Governmental Operations; Suspension of Constitutional Procedural Rules

(a) The Legislature, in order to insure continuity of state and local governmental operations in periods of emergency resulting from disasters caused by enemy attack, shall have the power and the immediate duty to provide for prompt and temporary succession to the powers and duties of public offices, of whatever nature and whether filled by election or appointment, the incumbents of which may become unavailable for carrying on the powers and duties of such offices. Provided, however, that Article I of the Constitution of Texas, known as the "Bill of Rights" shall not be in any manner affected, amended, impaired, suspended, repealed or suspended hereby.

(b) When such a period of emergency or the immediate threat of enemy attack exists, the Legislature may suspend procedural rules imposed by this Constitution that relate to:

(1) the order of business of the Legislature;
(2) the percentage of each house of the Legislature necessary to constitute a quorum;
(3) the requirement that a bill must be read on three days in each house before it has the force of law;
(4) the requirement that a bill must be referred to and reported from committee before its consideration; and
(5) the date on which laws passed by the Legislature take effect.

(c) When such a period of emergency or the immediate threat of enemy attack exists, the Governor, after consulting with the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, may suspend the constitutional requirement that the Legislature hold its sessions in Austin, the seat of government. When this requirement has been suspended, the Governor shall determine a place other than Austin at which the Legislature will hold its sessions during such period of emergency or immediate threat of enemy attack. The Governor shall notify the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the place and time at which the Legislature will meet. The Governor may take security precautions, consistent with the state of emergency, in determining the extent to which that information may be released.

(d) To suspend the constitutional rules specified by Subsection (b) of this section, the Governor must issue a proclamation and the House of Representatives and the Senate must concur in the proclamation as provided by this section.

(e) The Governor's proclamation must declare that a period of emergency resulting from disasters caused by enemy attack exists, or that the immediate threat of enemy attack exists, and that suspension of constitutional rules relating to legislative procedure is necessary to assure continuity of state government. The proclamation must specify the period, not to exceed two years, during which the constitutional rules specified by Subsection (b) of this section are suspended.

(f) The House of Representatives and the Senate, by concurrent resolution approved by the majority of the members present, must concur in the Governor's proclamation. A resolution of the House of Representatives and the Senate concurring in the Governor's proclamation suspends the constitutional rules specified by Subsection (b) of this section for the period of time specified by the Governor's proclamation.

(g) The constitutional rules specified by Subsection (b) of this section may not be suspended for more than two years under a single proclamation. A suspension may be renewed, however, if the Governor issues another proclamation as provided by Subsection (e) of this section and the House of Representatives and the Senate, by concurrent resolution, concur in that proclamation.

Amendment

(Added Nov. 6, 1962; Subsec. (a) amended and (b)-(g) added Nov. 8, 1983.)

Section 63

Text of Section 63:

Sec. 63.

(Repealed Nov. 6, 2001.)

(TEMPORARY TRANSITION PROVISION for Sec. 63: See Appendix, Note 3.)

Section 64

Text of Section 64:

Consolidation of Governmental Offices and Functions

(a) The Legislature may by special statute provide for consolidation of governmental offices and functions of government of any one or more political subdivisions comprising or located within any county. Any such statute shall require an election to be held within the political subdivisions affected thereby with approval by a majority of the voters in each of these subdivisions, under such terms and conditions as the Legislature may require.

(b) The county government, or any political subdivision(s) comprising or located therein, may contract one with another for the performance of governmental functions required or authorized by this Constitution or the Laws of this State, under such terms and conditions as the Legislature may prescribe. No person acting under a contract made pursuant to this Subsection (b) shall be deemed to hold more than one office of honor, trust or profit or more than one civil office of emolument. The term "governmental functions," as it relates to counties, includes all duties, activities and operations of statewide importance in which the county acts for the State, as well as of local importance, whether required or authorized by this Constitution or the Laws of this State.

Amendments

(Added Nov. 5, 1968; Subsec. (a) amended Nov. 3, 1970.)

Section 65

Text of Section 65:

Public Bonds; Interest Rate; Conflicting Rates Repealed; Veterans' Land Board Bonds

(a) Wherever the Constitution authorizes an agency, instrumentality, or subdivision of the State to issue bonds and specifies the maximum rate of interest which may be paid on such bonds issued pursuant to such constitutional authority, such bonds may bear interest at rates not to exceed a weighted average annual interest rate of 12% unless otherwise provided by Subsection (b) of this section. All Constitutional provisions specifically setting rates in conflict with this provision are hereby repealed.

(b) Bonds issued by the Veterans' Land Board after the effective date of this subsection bear interest at a rate or rates determined by the board, but the rate or rates may not exceed a net effective interest rate of 10% per year unless otherwise provided by law. A statute that is in effect on the effective date of this subsection and that sets as a maximum interest rate payable on bonds issued by the Veterans' Land Board a rate different from the maximum rate provided by this subsection is ineffective unless reenacted by the legislature after that date.

Amendments

(Added Nov. 7, 1972; Subsec. (a) amended and (b) added Nov. 3, 1981; Subsec. (a) amended Nov. 2, 1982.)

Section 66

Text of Section 66:

Limitation on Liability for Non-economic Damages

(a) In this section "economic damages" means compensatory damages for any pecuniary loss or damage. The term does not include any loss or damage, however characterized, for past, present, and future physical pain and suffering, mental anguish and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of companionship and society, disfigurement, or physical impairment.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this constitution, the legislature by statute may determine the limit of liability for all damages and losses, however characterized, other than economic damages, of a provider of medical or health care with respect to treatment, lack of treatment, or other claimed departure from an accepted standard of medical or health care or safety, however characterized, that is or is claimed to be a cause of, or that contributes or is claimed to contribute to, disease, injury, or death of a person. This subsection applies without regard to whether the claim or cause of action arises under or is derived from common law, a statute, or other law, including any claim or cause of action based or sounding in tort, contract, or any other theory or any combination of theories of liability. The claim or cause of action includes a medical or health care liability claim as defined by the legislature.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this constitution, after January 1, 2005, the legislature by statute may determine the limit of liability for all damages and losses, however characterized, other than economic damages, in a claim or cause of action not covered by Subsection (b) of this section. This subsection applies without regard to whether the claim or cause of action arises under or is derived from common law, a statute, or other law, including any claim or cause of action based or sounding in tort, contract, or any other theory or any combination of theories of liability.

(d) Except as provided by Subsection (c) of this section, this section applies to a law enacted by the 78th Legislature, Regular Session, 2003, and to all subsequent regular or special sessions of the legislature.

(e) A legislative exercise of authority under Subsection (c) of this section requires a three-fifths vote of all the members elected to each house and must include language citing this section.

(Added Sept. 13, 2003.)

Section 67

Text of Section 1:

Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas

(a) The legislature shall establish the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas to:

(1) make grants to provide funds to public or private persons to implement the Texas Cancer Plan, and to institutions of learning and to advanced medical research facilities and collaborations in this state for:
(A) research into the causes of and cures for all forms of cancer in humans;
(B) facilities for use in research into the causes of and cures for cancer; and
(C) research, including translational research, to develop therapies, protocols, medical pharmaceuticals, or procedures for the cure or substantial mitigation of all types of cancer in humans;
(2) support institutions of learning and advanced medical research facilities and collaborations in this state in all stages in the process of finding the causes of all types of cancer in humans and developing cures, from laboratory research to clinical trials and including programs to address the problem of access to advanced cancer treatment; and
(3) establish the appropriate standards and oversight bodies to ensure the proper use of funds authorized under this provision for cancer research and facilities development.

(b) The members of the governing body and any other decision-making body of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas may serve four-year terms.

(c) The legislature by general law may authorize the Texas Public Finance Authority to provide for, issue, and sell general obligation bonds of the State of Texas on behalf of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas in an amount not to exceed $3 billion and to enter into related credit agreements. The Texas Public Finance Authority may not issue more than $300 million in bonds authorized by this subsection in a year. The bonds shall be executed in the form, on the terms, and in the denominations, bear interest, and be issued in installments as prescribed by the Texas Public Finance Authority.

(d) Proceeds from the sale of the bonds shall be deposited in separate funds or accounts, as provided by general law, within the state treasury to be used by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas for the purposes of this section.

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this constitution, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, which is established in state government, may use the proceeds from bonds issued under Subsection (c) of this section and federal or private grants and gifts to pay for:

(1) grants for cancer research, for research facilities, and for research opportunities in this state to develop therapies, protocols, medical pharmaceuticals, or procedures for the cure or substantial mitigation of all types of cancer in humans;
(2) grants for cancer prevention and control programs in this state to mitigate the incidence of all types of cancer in humans;
(3) the purchase, subject to approval by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute, of laboratory facilities by or on behalf of a state agency or grant recipient; and
(4) the operation of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.

(f) The bond proceeds may be used to pay the costs of issuing the bonds and any administrative expense related to the bonds.

(g) While any of the bonds or interest on the bonds authorized by this section is outstanding and unpaid, from the first money coming into the state treasury in each fiscal year not otherwise appropriated by this constitution, an amount sufficient to pay the principal of and interest on bonds that mature or become due during the fiscal year and to make payments that become due under a related credit agreement during the fiscal year is appropriated, less the amount in the sinking fund at the close of the previous fiscal year.

(h) Bonds issued under this section, after approval by the attorney general, registration by the comptroller of public accounts, and delivery to the purchasers, are incontestable and are general obligations of the State of Texas under this constitution.

(i) Before the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas may make a grant of any proceeds of the bonds issued under this section, the recipient of the grant must have an amount of funds equal to one-half the amount of the grant dedicated to the research that is the subject of the grant request.

(j) The Texas Public Finance Authority shall consider using a business whose principal place of business is located in the state to issue the bonds authorized by this section and shall include using a historically underutilized business as defined by general law.

(Added Nov. 6, 2007.)

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