They DON KENNARD were mad about water DOLPH BRISCOE . For Interim Investigations Aige JOE POOL Madder About Water CHARLES LIECK Also Miffed About Water .. , . HAROLD PARISH D. B. HARDEMAN Still Joined in Fierce Battle, Legislators Argued Right Down to Final Adjournment in the Last Hour of the Last Day of the 54th Early on the last day of the 54th regular session of the Legislature all was sweetness and light. There were some pretty speches, some sad goodbyes, and even Davy Crockett, better known as Fess Parker, showed up. In the afternoon session, lawmakers turned to their jobs for one last try for a water conservation program. Tempers became short; then some legislators became enraged, and just before 6 p.m. adjournment the water issue had exploded into one of the fieriest hassles of the session. The issue was this: The House early in the session passed a water users tax to finance the water con ‘ servation program. The Senate didn’t like it, passed, instead, a three-cent ad valorem tax. The House didn’t like that, so backers of the latter measure delayed until the last day of the session, hoping the House would accept it when there was no other choice. The House rejected it, however, and endorsed overwhelmingly a motion by Rep. Granger Malhaney that the measure be sent to conference committee where another water financing proposal by Rep. Joe Pool would be substituted. Pool’s plan was for the Legislature to guarantee bonds voted by local subdivisions as state assistance in the water program: The conference committee came back within 30 minutes. The Pool proposal had not been substituted; it was the advalor,em tax all over again. Opponents became enraged. Shouted Rep. Don Kennard: “You can take that conference report and go to hell with it.” Pool grabbed the mike and breathed fire into it; he was followed by Rep. Charles Lieck, who was also unhappy with the committee for ignoring the House instructions. At that point, Speaker Jim Lindsey informed members that it was 6 p.m., and that no further votes could be taken. “The House thinks quiet should now set in,” he said. Summary of the . 54th Legislature AUSTIN Here is a brief recap prepared by the Observer staff on the decisions of the 54th Legislature in major legislative areas. TAXATION New state revenues, mostly from sales taxes, will finance expanded state services during the next two years. -The -taxbill as approved raises $98 million for the biennium, $42 million of which is for highway improvement. The new money comes from a penny hike on a gallon of gasoline, a penny per pack increase on cigarettes, seven mills more on each and 25 cents more per $1,000 in capital assets for business franchises fees. In addition, drivers’ license fees were increased by $1 to finance, employment of 200 more highway patrolmen. Motor bus license fees were decreased about $400,000 a year. The Legislative Council was authorized to make’ a study of the state tax structure. School districts were permitted more taxing power. In arriving at the tax increase program, the legislators rejected variations of the levies approved notably two cents per gallon of gasoline. and a penny a bottle on beer. They also rejected an income tax, gross receipts taxes on chemical plants, hotels, department stores, and manufacturing; a natural gas production tax increase, and a token tax on natural gas in the ground dedicated to the natural gas pipelines. No natural resources taxes were increased or instituted. Administration plans to double college tuition fees and to permit colleges to levy increased extracurricular activities fees were defeated. SPENDING The $1,526,000,000 two-year appropriation law is the biggest in Texas history. It provides for some increases in funds for the state hospital system, salary increases of state employees and officials, expansion of the State Health Department ,and reformatory and Prison System improvements. It is an increase of $116 million over the last spending law. A $3 million Supreme Court building, a $3 million state offices building, and a $500,000 Capitol air conditioning system were approved. Money was not appropriated for care of tubercular children under six years of age, and a special bill to appropriate $500,000 to local hospitals for child tubercular care failed. THE INVESTIGATIONS The House and Senate authorized separate veterans’ land investigations, which ran their respective courses. The ‘House established for the first time an interim five-man investigating committee with power to investigate city, county, or state governmental units and with a specific instruction to investigate the General Land Office. The committee will be appointed, its chairman elected, and its expenditures apSpeaker of the House. The Senate killed, by mortal amendments, a bill requiring state legislators to make public clients and the nature of fees they receive for representation before state boards and agencies. An appropriation of $80,000 for an investigation of the General Land Office by the Auditor was not passed. Neither were, special appropriations for the Attorney General’s Department, the Travis County district attorney’s office, and other agencies that have been. busy with the land investigations. Killed, also, were plans to have a 21-member House investigating committee with five investigations sub-committees and to require all members of the Legislature to make public any work they had done in connection with the veterans’ land program. WATER The $100 million revolving fund to help finance local water conservation projects died as a result of an unresolved c on f l i c t over whether to finance the program with an ad valorem tax, a water users’ tax, or general revenue. Board of Water Engineers approval of federal projects affecting Texas surface waters is now required. The Trinity River Authority, a water and soil conservation district for the Trinity basin counties, was adopted shorn of navigation features and with limited taxing powers. Oil field river pollution was brought under regulation. A Rio Grande Valley water authority was defeated. LABOR Picketing a place of business is now illegal in Texas unless the union represents a majority of all the employees, though it may be a craft union involving only a fraction of the employees. No provision was made by the Legislature for elections before a strike. Once a strike or picketing begins, a trial judge may call an election within 20 days. All employees at the start of the strike may vote unless they have been fired for a cause, which shall not include participation in the strike; permanent replacements for the strikers may also vote. Either the employer or the union in a labor dispute can ask that a new judge be assigned to a case if they think the judge with original jurisdiction is unfair. An employee laid off beacuse of a shortage of parts caused by a labor dispute at an allied plant cannot .get unemployment compensation unless he makes an offer to return to work and can show he is not a member of the union participating in the strike at the allied plant. Maximum benefits under unemployment compensation have been raised from $20 to $28. The benefits have been extended from employees of establishments with eight or more workers to those with four or more. Benefits are denied those who are not working because their union is striking or they refuse to cross a picket line. A 60-hour work-week for firemen in cities of more than 10,000 populatibn was provided. An attempt to amend the workmen’s compensation 1 a w failed. Originally it would have made it harder to get such benefits. On the House floor it was amended so that benefits were increased under the previous system of computing them. At this point the sponsors started opposing it. Attempts to get a “little TaftHartley” law passed were unsuccessful. INSURANCE A dozen bills reforming the insurance industry passed as a result of numerous insurance company failures. No effective penalties are provided for violations of these new laws. Insurance companies’ operations and securities are to be regulated; capital and surplus requirements are increased for life, fire, and casualty companies; Insurance Commission regulatory and examining facilities are expanded; court trials on appeals from Insurance Board orders start from scratch; insurance agents have to take stiffer tests; life insurance counselors are regulated; and reserves of mutual companies are regulated. . SOCIAL LEGISLATION . Additional welfare funds of $7 million a year, as approved by constitutional amendment, were allocated among the blind, pensionized, and needy children. College teachers and city, county, and state employees now come under federal so cial security. A minimum of $100 a month public school teacher retirement benefits was adopted for the people’s final vote. State hospital administration was tightened. Trial by jury in insanity cases may be waived. The mentally retarded will be cared for under a new “bill of rights for the mentally retarded.” A federal-state matching aid program for the 11,000 to 14,000 totally disabled Texans who are between 18 and 65 years of age was finally adopted. Funds for an adult probation system were not provided. A slum clearance and urban renewal proposal got a favorable House committee report but did not clear the House. A constitutional amendment for pensions for retired Rangers did not pass. The Texas Commission on Alcoholism was not allocated any funds. The Texas Legislative Council was asked to study the transportation of Texas migrant workers. STATE REGULATION Securities are now regulated by a new and more stringent code. Corporate and probate laws were modernized. The Real Estate Commission was given authority to give applicants for real estate dealers or salesman licenses written examinations. Banks are now allowed to operate on a five-day work-week. Proposals for a State Public Utilities Commission failed. So did a plan to lift the 10 percent interest limit on loans out of the Texas Constitution. Then a bill to enforce the 10 percent limit died. A bill licensing new and used car dealers, and restricting the unfranchised dealers’ sale of new cars did not pass.’ ELECTIONS The basic election code reform law was dropped by its Senate and House sponsors when it “got into politics”i.e., the Senate committee wrote in some provisions favoring the Shivers forces in the Democratic Party. Cross-filing by candidates was abolished. The method of scratching all candidates on the ballot except one’s choice was restored in preference to the present voting method of checking one’s choice. Deadline for payment of filing fees by candidates was moved up a month. Filing fee for Lieutenant Governor was set at $600 in contrast to the $250 the Democratic Executive Committee has been assessing. The number of campaign state ments a candidate must file was reduced. Judges for the Courts of Civil Appeals now file with the State Demobratic Executive Committee instead of with the various counties in each court’s jurisdiction. Filing fee is five percent of a judge’s salary for one year. Abolition of poll tax did not pass. Neither did a plan to exempt disabled veterans from paying it. FARMING Insecticides and fungicides will now be regulated and inspected by the Commissioner of Agriculture. Producers will be obliged to put up a $7.50-a-bale deposit on cotton to assure clean-up of cotton stocks as a pink bollworm preventive measure. VETERANS’ LAND A constitutional amendment will be submitted to the people to continue the veterans’ land program with a $100 million bond issue. An issue of $200 million was also proposed but did not prevail. A reform law prohibits block deals, restricts leasing and resale of tracts, and provides fines and imprisonment for defrauding the State or veterans under the veterans’ land program. MISCELLANEOUS Tourist hotels in state parks will be built with $25 million in bonds that were validated. A State Building Commission and a Texas Commission on Higher Education have been created. A 90-day waiting period must precede divorce actions. Narcotics addiction is a felony now, and penalties for pushing dope are stiffer. Consumption of liquor is prohibited at public school athletic events. “Lewd, depraved, or corruptive” comic books are prohibited. The Legislature refused to pass a bill assigning a portion of the State’s uranium claims to lessees of the land. Bills to set minimum prices on natural gas as a “conservation measure”; outlaw common law marriage; register and regulate lobbyists; let cities operate parking facilities; regulate annexation of suburbs by cities; redistrict for Congress and the judiciary; give the State Game and Fish Commission authority over the various local game and fish laws; exempt disabled veterans from the poll tax; penalize minors and exempt tavern operators from penalty for minors’ drinking of beer on the premises; and submit to the people a proposal to spend state money for “Texas advertising” all failed of final passage.