October 26, 2007
The obvious question of the week, and one that pretty much everyone asks me when they see me anywhere, concerns my prediction for the World Series. I say: the Sox in six. And not just because of the cute alliteration.
Other than that, I was honored this week to receive a wonderful award with a wonderful name – “The Harvey Penick Award for Excellence in the Game of Life” – from a truly wonderful organization called Caritas.
Caritas’ mission is to fight poverty, hunger, and homelessness, and the group truly lives up to that vital goal. Not only that, but in naming its flagship recognition, Caritas chose a beloved, wise man who became famous teaching folks about golf and pretty much everything else.
However, in an admirable effort to maintain balance in the universe, Caritas gave me the honor only after “roasting” me with a parade of embarrassing anecdotes and testimonials told by respected people from the region and the state. I was privileged to be razzed by former Comptroller John Sharp and . . . Liz Watson.
Suffice it to say that my wife wasn’t kidding when she declared – on the cover of the invitation to this event – “No one elected him senator in this house.” But Liz did make the nicest comment about me that anyone said all night. Sure, it was when she compared me to a mule, but I’ll take what I can get.
Seriously, it was a great time and a great cause. It’s such a privilege to be honored by that organization. It’s also great to be associated with a golfer, which probably won’t ever happen again, as anyone who’s ever carted me around a course will tell you.
I’ve written a few times now about the constitutional election that’s coming up in 11 days. Early voting will go all next week, and Election Day is November 6.
It’s a long ballot – 16 items and, for most of us, not one person running for office.
The ballot items themselves include:
I won’t send you the whole list, which you can read here. However, let me give you a couple of highlights:
Proposition 15: As I wrote, this is Texas’ historic effort to invest $3 billion in finding a cure for cancer. I’m proud to have co-authored this initiative, which will be a boon to our economy, our state, and our lives if it passes on November 6.
Proposition 14: This lesser-known proposition would simply allow judges to finish out their elected terms after they’ve reached the state’s mandatory retirement age of 75. I also authored the legislation allowing for this measure, which would keep the state from having to force good judges off the bench after voters elect them.
Proposition 2: This allows the state to borrow $500 million to pay for student loans. In Central Texas alone, more than 4,000 students have taken advantage of the state’s loan program in the last decade. This proposition will be the difference in extending the program into future years.
Proposition 4: This, like Proposition 2, is another traditional bond proposal providing up to $1 billion for state parks, historical sites, courthouses, mental health facilities, and facilities for the Department of Public Safety, Department of Criminal Justice, and Texas Youth Commission.
Proposition 12: Here’s yet another bond proposal, this one allowing the state to borrow $5 billion for highway improvements. Frankly, this is just a drop in the bucket when you look at our transportation needs (and please don’t get me started on how irresponsible I think the state has been when dealing with transportation funding), but it will provide money allowing Texas to get started on some of these much-needed projects without having to resort to tolls.
Proposition 9: All this does is allow Texas to exempt the homesteads of disabled veterans from property taxes.
Again, if you want information about these or the other 10 propositions, click here. And no matter what you think of these, be sure to vote on November 6. The fact that you may not have heard much about this election doesn’t mean it isn’t important.