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Proposition 7 (HJR 37) (Propuesta 7)

Official Ballot Language:Proposing a constitutional amendment relating to legislative authority to permit credit unions and other financial institutions to award prizes by lot to promote savings. Lenguaje oficial en la boleta electoral:Enmienda constitucional relativa a la autoridad legislativa para permitir que las cooperativas de crédito y otras instituciones financieras otorguen premios por sorteo para promover el ahorro.Explanation:The Texas Constitution, Art. 3, Sec. 47, prohibits lotteries and raffles with a few exceptions, such as bingo games and charitable raffles conducted by nonprofit or religious organizations. Proposition 7 wouldamend the constitution to allow the legislature to authorize credit unions or other financial institutions to conduct promotional activities that can award a prize to one or more of the institution’s depositors selected by lot to encourage savings. The enabling legislation for Proposition 7, HB 471, defines raffles legalized under this amendment as savings promotion raffles; the criteria for entering is a deposit of a specific amount into a savings account or savings program. Other terms of the savings account or program – fees, withdrawal limits, interest or dividends – must be commensurate with those of savings accounts or programs that are not subject to a savings promotion raffle.Explicación:La Constitución de Texas, Art. 3, Sec. 47, prohíbe las loterías y rifas con algunas excepciones, como los juegos de bingo y rifas benéficas realizadas por organizaciones sin fines de lucro o religiosas. La Propuesta 7enmendaría la constitución para permitir a la legislatura autorizar a las asociaciones de crédito u otras instituciones financieras para llevar a cabo actividades de promoción que pueden otorgar un premio a uno o más de los depositantes de la institución seleccionados por sorteo para fomentar el ahorro. La legislación propicia para la Propuesta 7, HB 471, define las rifas legalizadas bajo esta enmienda como rifas de promoción de ahorro; los criterios para entrar es un depósito de una cantidad específica en una cuenta de ahorros o programa de ahorros. Otros términos de la cuenta de ahorros o programa - Tarifas, límites de retiro, intereses o dividendos - deben ser proporcionales a los de cuentas o programas de ahorro que no están sujetos a un sorteo de promoción del ahorro.
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Arguments

Saving incentives are needed as more than one-third of Texas households lack a savings account and about half do not have a three-month emergency fund. States that have removed legal barriers to such raffles have seen a significant increase in consumer savings.

Savings promotion raffles are not gambling as they require no form of payment, only a deposit into a savings account, and benefit the consumer even if the consumer does not win a prize. Depositors can withdraw their money at any time and therefore do not lose money as in other raffles.
Proposition 7 would permit one industry to do a raffle and would be the only non-charitable raffle allowed in the state. It is not equitable to allow only one industry to conduct raffles.

This proposition could lead to other industries requesting permission to hold raffles and to more serious forms of gambling.

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