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Texas Proposition 1 (2001)

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Texas Constitution
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Preamble
Articles
12
3 (1-43)3 (44-49)3 (50-67)
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Texas Amendment 1 was on the November 6, 2001 ballot in Texas as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved. It was one of nineteen proposed constitutional amendments voted onto the ballot by the Texas State Legislature. All of them were approved.

Election Results

Amendment 1
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 596,765 74.4%
No205,49925.6%

Text of measure

The short ballot summary voters saw on their ballot read: "The constitutional amendment providing for clearing of land titles by the release of a state claim of its interest to the owners of certain land in Bastrop County."[1]

Constitutional changes

Proposition 1 amended Section 2a of Article 7 of the Texas Constitution.


Details

The state government provided an explanation of Proposition 1 which read as follows:

If sovereign land is sold or disposed of to private persons without a patent issued from the state or the Republic of Texas conveying the legal title, the legal title to the land remains vested with the sovereign entity. Under the Texas Constitution, land that is not included in a patented survey or dedicated for another purpose is dedicated to the permanent school fund. A person may not receive a patent on land dedicated to the fund unless the General Land Office and the School Land Board, which manage the fund for the benefit of educational programs, receive fair market value for the land. Land that is not included in a patented survey is known as a vacancy.

The tracts covered by the proposed amendment are part of a vacancy identified in 1925 as part of the A. P. Nance Survey. Although the land was surveyed, a patent was not issued for the land by the General Land Office. Some owners of property adjoining the vacancy purchased portions of the vacancy, and others have occupied, fenced, and paid taxes on portions of the vacancy. In 1999, the General Land Office resurveyed the A. P. Nance Survey and identified persons occupying land dedicated to the permanent school fund. While several title insurance companies have since paid the fair market value of portions of the land included in the vacancy, the status of 127 acres of land held by 20 individuals who are not covered by title insurance remains unresolved.

In 1981, 1991, and 1993, voters approved constitutional amendments that remedied title defects for certain landowners in other areas of the state. Those amendments allowed the General Land Office to issue patents to qualified applicants whose land titles were defective. The proposed amendment would clear title to tracts of land in the A. P. Nance Survey for which the status is unresolved by relinquishing and releasing any claim of the state of sovereign ownership or title to an interest, other than a mineral interest, in those tracts. The proposed amendment would confirm title to each tract in the holder of record title to the tract and would require the General Land Office to issue a patent to the holder of record title to one of the tracts without charging a filing fee or patent fee. A patent issued under the proposed amendment would be required to reserve all mineral interest in the land to the state. The proposed amendment would cancel any outstanding land award or land payment obligation owed to the state for the tracts covered by the amendment. Any payment related to an outstanding land award or land payment obligation made before the effective date of the amendment would not be refunded.

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing direct democracy in Texas

As laid out in Article 17 of the Texas Constitution, in order for a proposed constitutional amendment to be placed on the ballot, the Texas State Legislature must propose the amendment in a joint resolution of both the Texas State Senate and the Texas House of Representatives. The joint resolution can originate in either the House or the Senate. The resolution must be adopted by a vote of at least two-thirds of the membership of each house of the legislature. That amounts to a minimum of 100 votes in the House of Representatives and 21 votes in the Senate.

See also

External links

Texas 2001 constitutional amendments

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References