As faithfully as the Texas Legislature meets in each odd-numbered year, its members adopt at least a handful of measures that can only be put into effect with changes in the state constitution.Since the constitution was adopted in 1876, Texas voters have approved 474 amendments, according to the Legislative Reference Library. Another 179 amendments have been approved by the Legislature but rejected by voters, and an untold number died somewhere in the legislative process. Early voting starts Monday on nine proposed amendments in the Nov. 5 election. They range from removing provisions governing the State Medical Education Board (which hasn’t existed as a separate agency since 1989) to this year’s headliner proposal creating a $2 billion fund that will help gain favorable financing for water supply projects.Voter turnout in constitutional amendment elections typically is low. In 2011 in Tarrant County, it was less than 4 percent of registered voters. That’s a shame, because many of these proposals have a huge impact on the state.The Star-Telegram Editorial Board will examine the proposed amendments along with other Nov. 5 election issues this week.Proposition 5Texas is the only state where you can’t get a reverse mortgage for the purchase of a home. You can get a reverse mortgage — and Texans have taken out $5 billion worth of them, banking industry statistics show — but only on equity in a current homestead, not to buy a new one.The reason has to do with the state’s long history of constitutional restrictions on mortgage lending, restrictions that have been slowly unwinding for about three decades. FHA, the federal agency that insures reverse mortgages, wants to see specific constitutional language allowing reverse mortgages for home purchases before it will enter the marketA reverse mortgage allows a homeowner age 62 or older to get periodic payments from a lender based on their home equity. The lender gets repaid when the home is sold or gets the home when the homeowner and his or her spouse dies.With Proposition 5, lenders say they’re looking at the 1.3 million Texas homes owned by people 65 and older.They see a whole lot of people who have paid off the mortgages on their homes but might want to move to a smaller place. Those people could sell their homes and buy new ones free and clear. Or they could use a much smaller portion of their equity nest egg and get a reverse mortgage with monthly payouts that would cover or help cover the new monthly house payments, with cash left over for other uses.Changes allowed by Proposition 5 include extensive requirements for financial counseling and written disclosures for buying a home with a reverse mortgage.The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends voting for Proposition 5.