By Bethany Blankley

Republican voters in Texas on March 1 will have 10 propositions to vote on in the GOP primary election.

They address the issues of border security, property taxes, vaccine mandates, parental rights and education, abortion, legislative committee chairs, election reform, gender modification surgery on minors and freedom of conscience.

Proposition 1 addresses border security. It states, “In light of the federal government’s refusal to defend the southern border, Texas should immediately deploy the National Guard, Texas Military Forces, and necessary state law enforcement to seal the border, enforce immigration laws, and deport illegal aliens.”

Despite Gov. Greg Abbott launching Operation Lone Star in March to thwart criminal activity stemming from a surge in illegal immigration, conservatives argue he hasn’t done nearly enough.

Proposition 2 addresses property tax reform, stating, “Texas should eliminate all property taxes within ten (10) years without implementing a state income tax.”

The 87th Legislature didn’t pass any bills or prioritize state funding to reduce property tax burdens. Conservatives say Republican leaders squashed a bill designed to eliminate property taxes filed by Rep. Tom Oliverson, R-Houston.

Proposition 3 addresses vaccine mandates. It states, “Texans should not lose their job nor students be penalized for declining a COVID-19 vaccine.”

Responding to public pressure, Abbott added vaccine mandates to the third Special Legislative Session agenda with eight days left in the session after not prioritizing it during the regular session and first two special sessions.

Abbott has not commented on several lawsuits filed in Texas over vaccine mandates, and has ignored calls by the Texas GOP, his challengers and a growing list of legislators calling for a fourth special session to address the issue. He recently told a local radio station that he was waiting on the courts to decide the matter. Earlier this year, he issued an executive order prohibiting state entities from requiring a vaccine passport as a condition of service.

Proposition 4 address parental rights and so-called critical race theory. It states, “Texas schools should teach students basic knowledge and American exceptionalism and reject Critical Race Theory and other curricula that promote Marxist doctrine and encourage division based on creed, race, or economic status.”

The legislature passed a bill, which Abbott signed into law, banning CRT from being taught in Texas public schools. The law went into effect Dec. 2. CRT is still incorporated in either policy or curriculum in several higher education institutions in Texas.

Proposition 5 proposes a constitutional amendment supporting the “Right to Life.” It states, “Texas should enact a State Constitutional Amendment to defend the sanctity of innocent human life, created in the image of God, from fertilization until natural death.”

During the 87th Legislative Session, lawmakers passed the Texas Heartbeat Act, prohibiting an abortion from being performed once a baby’s heartbeat is detected. The law went into effect Sept. 1. In November, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments for two cases related to those who oppose the law.

Proposition 6 addresses legislative procedure. It states, “The Republican-controlled Texas Legislature should end the practice of awarding committee chairmanships to Democrats.”

Republican leaders consistently appoint Democrats to committee chair positions who actively block conservative bills, conservative critics argue. Rep. Bryan Slaton, R-Royse City, proposed amendments to the House Rules requiring House committees to be chaired by a member of the majority party. The Republican-led majority helped defeat the measure.

Proposition 7 addresses election integrity. It states, “Texas should protect the integrity of our elections by verifying that registered voters are American citizens, restoring felony penalties and enacting civil penalties for vote fraud, and fighting any federal takeover of state elections.”

After Texas Democrats attempted to thwart election reform be fleeing the state, Republicans claimed victory for passing an election integrity bill, among other things, reduced the crime of illegal voting from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Proposition 8 addresses banning gender modification surgery on minors. It states, “Texas should ban chemical castration, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and genital mutilation surgery on all minor children for sex transition purposes.”

The issue was the third-most important legislative priority chosen by GOP delegates at the state convention, but bills filed by conservative lawmakers to ban the practice received no support from the governor, Lt. Governor, or House speaker.

Proposition 9 relates to school choice, another issue not prioritized by the 87th Legislature. It states, “Texas parents and guardians should have the right to select schools, whether public or private, for their children, and the funding should follow the student.”

Proposition 10 asks Republicans to approve or reject the statement, “Texans affirm that our freedoms come from God and that the government should have no control over the conscience of individuals.”

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