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Witco’s Protects You On available to. small groupi and to to large groups, Sick Leave Plan AND Off1 the Job! of employees from 5 to 50 individuals! up to thousands Western Indemnity Life Insurance Company Affiliated with Home Office : 5011 Fannin, , Houston, Texas AGENCIES THROUGHOUT TEXAS DROUTH, LIVING COSTS SWELL RELIEFERS they spend it on green vegetables, meats, and other items that would im prove their diets. Goddard said grocers in San Antonio didn’t complain because “most of the needy people already owe big grocery bills before coming in for assistance. The people don’t have any money so they can hardly be regarded as potential customers.” The San Antonio food program administrator said surveys conducted there show that about 80 percent of the commodity recipients are LatinAmericans, eleven percent Negroes, and nine percent Anglo-Americans. He pointed out that many of the men receiving aid, when they had jobs, received only 50 or 75 cents or $1 an hour. “Suppose he gets in a 40 hour_ week at $1 an hour. That’s still only $40 a week. If he has a large family, as many do, he can’t buy the necessities on. that income,” Goddard pointed out. pointed out. . AUSTIN The number of Texans on federal food relief rollsalready well over 80,000is expected to run considerably higher if the drouth does not break soon. W. M. Herndon, director of the Commodity Distribution Division of the State Department of Public Welfare, said Texas’s sagging rural econ,omy_is a major factor in the rapidly increasing heed for welfare assistance. Some 50,000 needy’ Texans have been Bob Bray addd to the proo -rain in the past six months. Aid is b being received in 42 counties. Raymond F. Goddard, administrator of the City of San Aritonio’s food distribution program, said the drouth is only a contributing factor to the problem. He cited the “steadily increasing cost of living, which is now equal to the previous all-time high of three years.ago and is still climbing, as -another major -factor. He pointed out that as high as consumer costs are now it is possible for many unskilled laborers of San Antonio to work at wages offered \(sometimes only 50 enough money to buy necessities for their often large.families. Herndon explained that U. S. Department of Agriculture food, all of which was purchasedunder federal stabilization programs, is available to the needy people of any city or county. All that is required to set up such an aid program is that the city or county officials agree to administer distribution of the food. Those eligible to receive commodities include individuals whose income does not exceed $60 per month ; families of two or -three whose income does not exceed $115 monthly ; families of four or five with maximum income of $140 monthly; families of six or seven with maximum income of $165 ; and families of eight or nine with income not more than $180 monthly. The number of people receiving assistance in various county programs range from 50 in Martin County to 9,217 in Karnes County. Some counties employ from one to several workers to administer the program while in some, such as Kent County, the commissioners, judge and clerk, personally pitch in to package food, keep records, and carry tout the job of administration. The counties and cities currently issuing U.S.D.A. commodities and the number of needy persons in each follow: Angelina, 321 ; Atascosa, 4,635;. Bee, 1158; Brooks, 1,904; Cochran, 742; Collingsworth, 1,075; Cottle, 1,075 ; Dallas, 1,611; Dawson, 164; Duval, 6,000 ; Frio, 4,621; Harris, 2,403 ; Hemphill, 265 ; Hidalgo, 386; Jefferson, 1,955 ; Jim Hogg, 2,494; Jim Wells, 4,250; Karnes, 9,217; Kent, -94; Knox, 1,270 ; Lamb, 723; Lee, 853 ; Live Oak, 2,699 ; Lubbock, 358, Martin, 50, McLennan, 3,021; McMullen, 419 ; Montague, -1,457 4;* Motley, 116; Orange, 320 ; Polk, 1,150; San Antonio, 15,318; Scurry, 314; Terry, 61; Wheeler, 1,039; Wichita, 69; Wilson, 3,574 Zapata, 2,469. Milani and Cherokee Counties have just started the program and figures ‘ AUSTIN One reason that it costs $1 for a long distance telephone call from Austin to Texarkana, Texas, when a call across to the other sideof the same city, Texarkana, Ark., costs only 75 cents it that the rate on the out of state message. is federally regulated. Only two states, Texas and Iowa, have not yet passed laws regulating rates on public utilities. As things now stand in Texas, officials of Southwestern Bell Telephone Company set their own rates on intrastate long distance calls and rural calls. ,There have been repeated efforts the past few years to pass legislation which would bring public utility monopolies under state control, but none of the bills has come close to passage. Last session Rep. Robert. Patten of Jasper introduced a Public Utilities would have set up a state commission with the power to regulate telephone, gas, and electric Utilities. Senator William r. Moore of Bryan introduced a tion. Both bills died in State Affairs committees. A principal difference in the bills authored by Rep. Patten and Sen. Moore was the means of selecting members of the State Public Utilities Commission which would have authority to settle virtually all rate-questions. Patten’s bill.called for the commis on the number of needy aren’t yet listed.’ Angelina and Lubbock counties and Denison ha -ire recently started the program and are still in process of expansion. Herndon said that only two counties, Childress and Hall, had discontinued the program since it started in 1953. presume they stopped because -it was no longer needed,” he said. B OTH Herndon and Goddard said the food help plan was favorably received by grocers in areas where it was adopted. Herndon stated that grocers generally reported the needy still spend about as much money on food as they did before receiving government commodities, but sioners to be appointed by the governor and to serve for six-year terms, while Moore’s bill called for all three members of the commission to be elected by the people. Both bills contained provisions making it a crirninal, violation for a commissioner “pecuniarily” to be interested in a ptiblic utility while holding office.The Moore bill made such violation a felony calling for fines of from $2,000 to $10,000 and imprisonment of from two to ten years, or both. It also provided that commissioners could be removed by a two-thirds vote , of the legislature fordereliction of duty, corruption, or incompetency. . The senate bill would give the Board of Public Utility Commissioners the authority to “supervise and regulate all utilities.” Commission salaries would be $10,000 annually. The commission would have a staff comprised of a chief counsel, chief engineer, chief auditor, chief statisticians, secretary, and “such examiners as it may require.” Sen. Moore -cited the bill as emergency legislation because of “the fact that existing laws do not adequately provide for the regulation of public utilities, and that relief in that field is sorely needed . , ..” It is anticipated that additional bills will be .introduced next session which would aim to establish state utility regulations. Several candidates, among them C. T. Johnson for lieutenant governor and Mrs. Emrha Long for State senator from Austin, are cur MARLIN Rep. Jack Welch of Marlin has drawn up a. bill to present to the Legislature next January which would give Texans in rural areas some degree: of ‘control over their .telephone rates. . Present Texas laws delegate to city councils authority. to negotiate with utilities. over Tate increases but leave unincorporated areas without a mediator. Welch’s bill would establish a rural telephone division of the. Railroad Commission of Texas. It would give the commission authority to regulate telephone rates in unincorporated towns, to inspect facilities and service, PreScribe standards, and hear customers’ complaints: Need for such a bill became apparent to Welch last ‘September when a group of Chilton residents signed a petition asking for recourse from “in discriminate rate raises.”. The Chiltonites complained their rates had been raised but service had not been improved. .Under Welch’s plan the Railroad Commission division -would be sup. ported entirely by the telephone corn rently including state utility controls in their platforms. Mrs. Long’s plan for such controls differs from those of Patten and Moore in that she would have the legislature delegate control of intrastate and rural phone calls to a special divi sion set up under the State Railroad Commission. She advocates that the new division of the Railroad Commis, sion would not only regulate long distance and rural rates in Texas, but would also provide expert . assistance to city councils which are charged with responsibility of fixing rates in their cities. R. L. Bence, staff supervsor for Southwestern Bell Telephone Co., says that his company “doesn’t care” whether a state utility commission or other regulatory body is established. He produced figures showing that Texas’s long distance intrastate rates rank in the middle third thrtughout the nation and explained that Southwestern Bell tries to keep Texas’s long distance rates average with other states. Bence predicted that rates on infra state long distance calls will not be lowered even if a state regulatory body is set up. But he predicted that local exchange rates would be increased in several of Texas’s larger cities, includina b Austin. , It would, he believes, still cost a quarter more to call from Austin to Texarkana, Texas, than to call Texarkana, Arkansas. B. B. panies themselves, who would be re -quired to pay into a “Rural Telephone Fund” our-fourth of one. percent of the gross income from business done within the state each quarter. The Welch bill would regulate the telephone companies only in unincorporated areas where there currently is no regulation. Welch said he fore sees a future amendfnent to the bill which would include gaS’ and electric utilities, and even further in the future a commission to include all ties in all areas of the state; incorporated and unincorporated. . Texas is one of two states which -do not have such .a public utilities commission. The other is Iowa. Three past attempts to set up a Texas public util commission.-have failed, and it is in this regard Welch. expeCts to Meet whatever oppoSition to the bill there may be. L . “I expect somebody will try to amend this bill to inclUde all the ities even be fore it is passed,” Welch said “And that would be its biggest . J.L. THEXAS. TEXAS. OBSEA_ Page. 8 ttly 11, 1956 State and Federal Surplus Food Given Thousands in Many Coynties State Rate-Setting Proposed Welch Plans IBill in ’57