Why Texans should vote YES on Constitutional Amendment, Proposition 7

October 19, 2009

State Representatives Phil King, Dan Flynn, Aaron Pena and Ryan Guillen

The purpose of Proposition 7 is simply to conform the Texas Constitution to the current structure of the Texas Military Forces: the Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Air National Guard and the Texas State Guard.

The Texas State Guard is a volunteer force of about 1,800 guardsmen from all across the State of Texas and is a “first responder” to natural disasters and other emergencies. Over the past two years members of the Texas State Guard have volunteered over 42,000 working days supporting local and state authorities responding to hurricanes, fires, floods and other state declared emergencies.

Article 16, Section 40 of the Texas Constitution was originally written to prohibit civil servants (elected officials and government employees) from holding two different positions with the government at the same time. However, the Constitution also provides several exceptions to this rule – most notably for military service. For instance, if a school teacher, city councilman or police officer serves in the Texas National Guard or the Naval Reserves, there are exceptions for that military service.

The role of the Texas State Guard, first organized during WWII, has grown dramatically over the last eight years and it has become vital to emergency response in Texas. Guardsmen, among other functions, provide shelter management, medical support, assist in evacuations, communications and damage assessment. Most recently, an engineering detachment was organized to assist small communities in reestablishing critical services, such as water and wastewater, after natural disasters such as a hurricane or flood. Recruitment efforts are underway to reflect the fast growing missions of the Texas State Guard.

Many of our guardsmen have jobs with various local, state and even federal government entities. They are teachers, judges, police officers, firefighters who are committed to the State Guard’s motto of Texans Serving Texans. Proposition 7 is simply clean up language to clarify that all Texans are eligible to serve regardless of their employment.

Please join us in supporting the Texas State Guard in its vital service to our state by voting YES on Proposition 7.

Learn more about the Texas State Guard at www.txsg.state.tx.us Rep. Phil King (R-Weatherford) represents House District 61, Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Van) represents House District 2, Rep. Aaron Pena (D-Edinburg) represents House District 40, and Rep. Ryan Guillen (D-Rio Grande City) represents District 31 in the Texas House of Representatives. All are officers in the Texas State Guard.