SB 488

85(R) - 2017
Senate Intergovernmental Relations
Senate Intergovernmental Relations

Companion Bill

HB 3332

Vote Recommendation

Vote Yes; Amend
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Positive


Paul Bettencourt
Eddie Lucio Jr.


Konni Burton
Bob Hall
Don Huffines

Bill Caption

Relating to requirements for certain petitions requesting an election and ballot propositions. 

Fiscal Notes

From the LBB: Estimated Two-year Net Impact to General Revenue Related Funds for SB 488, Committee Report 1st House, Substituted: a negative impact of ($177,066) through the biennium ending August 31, 2019. The bill would make no appropriation but could provide the legal basis for an appropriation of funds to implement the provisions of the bill.

Bill Analysis

This bill would change the procedure for filing ballot propositions. These changes would include: 

  • Ballot propositions must submit their question with "definitiveness and certainty" in order to not mislead voters
  • Allow religious organizations to submit a petition in connection with a recall election 
  • Secretary of State would review ballot propositions requested by petition to determine if they comply with the ballot language requirement 
  • If the ballot language is found to not comply, the city would be required to submit to the Secretary of State any proposition for that city's elections for four years following the court's finding 
  • Would establish provisions for determining validity of signatures on petitions 
  • Would require the secretary of state to prescribe a petition form for cities to use 
  • City secretary would determine the validity of signatures not later than 30 days after they receive the petition 
  • Would establish procedure for municipal charter amendments as well 

Vote Recommendation Notes

This bill would implement greater accountability in local propositions to be voted on by requiring entities to more accurately describe what is being put before the voters. One item of concern in this bill is the allowance for religious organizations to make political donations but not others. We believe the law should apply equally and either all should be allowed to make a contribution or none. As a whole, we support SB 488 which we believe upholds our principle of limited government and individual liberty.