C10 Favors Corporation Tax AUSTIN A pledge to continue to fight for human rights, political and legislative programs, and drouth-stricken Texas farmers highlight an ambitious work program planned by the Texas State CIO Council for 1957. Some 250 delegates representing 225 CIO locals with a total of 100,000 workers adopted the organization’s program after study by 14 committees. Among the recommendations were the elimination of discrimination against Nggroes in local unions, higher teacher pay, a corporation income tax, higher unemployment and workmen’s compensation rates, repeal of S. B. 45 “requiring striking or picketing” before a union election, and an industrial safety law. The administrative officers reported that “our primary concern has been in increasing the political effectiveness of our affiliated local unions.” The report of the officers continued: “Further, the long efforts to remove a corrupt and punitive administration in our state government came within two-tenths of one percent of being successful. This year has seen . . . the defeat at the polls of many of those individuals who accepted cash contributions from corporation lobbyists while they callously laughed off the floors of our legislature the lobbyist control bill which was supported by organized labor .. . . We must never forget our responsibility to keep faith with these new allies by never seeking anything that is not in the best interests of all.” The following reports were among those adopted by the convention: HUMAN RIGHTS “We are prtud of the fact that our organization pioneered in this field and we call upon those members who helped establish integrated local unions in Texas during the past 20 years to not now shy away from our obligation to help increase public understanding and , support of the simple human requirement of bringing our school system into compliance with the laws of our country. “We wish to commend the more than 100 local school districts that are now in their second year of compliance with the ruling of the Supreme Court. More than 300,000 school children are now studying in integrated schools without one single serious incident being recorded in schools actually integrated…. These gains have been made despite the interference and opposition of our Governor and Attorney General who have used every means of advancing their political ambitions by appealing to the prejudices of some of our people. “Court decisions and rulings of the President’s Committee on Discrimination in Government Contracts point up the necessity for our taking a look in our plants and re examining the question of equal job opportunities for all our members “We recothmend that each of our affiliates take steps to provide equal job opportunities for all of our members regardless of their race, sex, religion or color. We reaffirm the principle of no discrimination against any employee because of race, sex, religion, or color. POLITICAL ACTION `…. this Council strongly endorses the recent efforts of loyal and active Democrats to establish a statewide organization which will mobilize full Democratic strength in the counties by utilizing the county organizations in counties where they now exist and encourage and aid the establishment of such organizations of working Democrats in counties where they do not now exist. We call on all affiliated groups and their members to participate in this desirable objective and to support the Democrats of Texas. AGRICULTURE, POWER; WATER “We recommend …a real water program. “We are opposed to any legislation or other policies which will cripple farmers’ electric cooperatives in any way, including the attempt of the state Attorney General and the power companies to destroy the cooperatives by extending the monopoly franchises of the power companies into areas served by cooperatives as Texas towns expand … “We maintain that the rivers belong to the people and should be developed for the benefit of all the people rather than for the profit of private interests. Specifically, we urge the development of more low-cost public power to be distributed over transmission lines owned publicly or by cooperatives…. “As a matter of conviction, we believe that all farm commodities are basic to the families who produce them. We therefore favor the enactment of legislation that will provide 100% of parity income protection. We also support and urge 100 percent parity price support on all agricultural commodities based on family size farm operations. “We favor a graduated land tax to discourage ever-increasing land holdings which tend to completely commercialize farming, thereby forcing an ever-increasing number of farm families to vacate their farms. “We favor a more liberal farm credit policy … “We favor a more liberal policy of the federal aid program to stricken areas … SCHOOLS “We recommend improved pay tenure for teachers, state scholarships for exceptional students, and federal aid for school construction. We recommend an expansion of the school lunch and milk program and remind the delegates this program is controlled by the local school boards. TAXATION “Strong influence and pressure groups would saddle. on the backs of tax payers a general sales tax or many regressive special sales taxes, and already in the last legislature, 89 million our of a total 98 million dollars of new taxes have been in this category. We remain opposed to additional sales taxes in any form. “We recognize a need for certain adjustments in our natural resources tax system and recommend that a “corporation income tax act” be adopted by this convention. “We further recommend … that research be made on the matter of personal income tax provisions now in effect in several states …” UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION “We recommend the following: ‘To increase the present $28 per week maximum payment to 65% of the average weekly wage of the employees covered by the Texas Unemployment Act, with recomputations of that figure at least every 6 months. The minimum weekly benefit amount should not be less than, 65% of the workers weekly wage. To increase duration of benefits from present limitations up to a maximum of 39 weeks. Extend coverage to an employer with one or more employees who would otherwise be covered by present law. Amend the disqualification section so as to eliminate disqual-ification of persons who become unemployed through no fault of their own. LABOR LAW “We recommend: “Repeal of Senate Bill 45 which requires striking or picketing before an election to determine majority representation is allowed; and in its place substitute an election procedure based upon the system provided by the National Labor Relations Act, as amended…. “Reasonable union security contractual provisions after approval of a majority of the employees concerned…. Johnson Rejects New Policy Post WASHINGTIN Senator Lyndon Johnson, as expected, has joined Speaker Sam Rayburn and other top congressional leaders in refusing to serve on the Democratic National Cornmittee policy advisory committee. Johnson said he would be glad to receive the group’s views but that it would only cause “delays and confusions” for congressional leaders to belong to a policy body not created by federal law. Behind the dispute, of course, is the desire of some eastern and midwestern liberals, acting through the national committee, to advance programs Johnson and Rayburn do not want advanced. in effect, Johnson and Rayburn refused to share their authority. Johnson spoke at College Station last week, forecasting a complete restudy of foreign policy next session of Congress. He said Soviet leaders’ behavior under the pressures of dissension within the satellites will determine the future of world politics. “Creation of a functional department of labor for Texas to administer and enforce applicable provisions of the proposed labor code and empowering the State’s Labor Department to hold representation elections and to provide voluntary mediation and concilliation service. WORKMEN’S COMPENSATION “We recommend the following changes in the present Texas Workmen’s Compensation Act. “The law should include compulsory coverage of all private employers of one or more employees, agricultural and domestic employees, and employees of all tax-supported public agencies … “The workmen’s compensation law should be amended to provide a weekly compensation equal to 66 2-3% of the injured worker’s average weekly earnings…. Supervised Parolees or Bigger Prisons OIt costs over $2 million an nually to maintain the prison population, although Texas, largely because of the prison system’s farm production program, ranks a low 47th in the U. S., spending $248 a year to maintain each inmate. However, at the present rate, the state is spending $230 more per year per inmate for buildings and improvements. These costs to taxpayers can be expected to increase approximately $793,000 by 1960. OIn addition to the direct prison system costs, State Welfare Department payments to children of men in prison are about $500,000 annually, a figure which has increased 100 percent over the past four years. The primary reason for the increase of the portion of the population in prison is the antiquated system of parole. Parole Board Member A. C. Turner pointed out that “Texas is the only state with no professional parole system. All other states and the federal government now have paid parole officers to supervise parolees.” White and Turner emphasized that Texas would gain a great deal by establishing a statewide professional parole system. As it is now, the board paroles only about 25 percent of the prisoners those it considers “the cream of the crop.” Turner said there are doubtless several thousand more left in prison who could be re habilitated in their communities if they had professional super-, vision to help them get a job and keep out of trouble. The NPPA says, “Well over half of the inmates in the prison system are legally eligible for parole, two-thirds of whom would be good risks for release. Those 4,000 men would have an earning capacity on the outside of $8.7 million per year if they earned no more than the standard minimum wage of $1 an hour. As wage earners, they would be taxpayers, supporting their families.” Parole board statistics show that there are approximately 2,200 prisoners now on parole. Counting the 800 prisoners released from other state prisons and accepted for parole in Texas, the parole board and voluntary county boards have supervision of nearly 3,000 convicts. As a result, three-man county boards across Texas are charged with trying to supervise from a half dozen to nearly 500 parolees as a part-time job. IN THE METROPOLITAN areas, the top officers of the Salvation Army have generally been handed the parole job because they are frequently the only ones who will take it on. State parole board officials say that volunteers can’t do the job and .shouldn’t be expected to. They still want the voluntary boards to operate under their proposed plan, but in conjunction with the paid probation officers. A few heavily populated counties have used bailiffs’ salaries or otherwise appropriated funds to hire parole officers. Dallas has taken the lead in hiring three men. They have an active total caseload of 974, while the maximum caseload recommended nationally for best results is 50 per officer. Harris County hasn’t hired any officers, but Nueces, Tarrant, Potter, Jefferson, and Travis Counties have one each. Aubrey Elliott, of Austin, director of the NPPA, says there is “no such thing as parole without supervision; that good parole practice insures that the released prisoner is under supervision by a trained parole officer during his period of parole.” Elliott produced statistics showing that Texas, which now paroles 255 percent of its prisoners and has a recidivism rate of approximately 15 percent, could, with professional parole supervisors, parole some 3,000 more prisoners and expect the same percentage of repeat offenders. This, he said, has been proven nationally. There is also considerable evidence, he pointed out, that the theory that imprisonment deters crime is faulty. In many cases long terms in prison do not tend to rehabilitate the offender. He said, “the wardens of our biggest prisons generally agree that a large group of those imprisoned, probably 40 to 45 percent, should never have been sent there in I the first place; that is, they could have been better rehabilitated in their own communities.” ELLIOTT SHOWED graphs illustrating that California, Colorado, and Washington, with parole rate percentages of 80, 91.4 and 99.8, respectively, had recidivism rates of less than 20 percent, compared to Texas’s rate of 16 percent. He declared: “Under a system of professional parole supervision, offender and offended will both profit. Human lives will be saved, human dignity restored, families preserved. Men released from prison under supervision will have a better chance to make good, and the public will enjoy greater protection.” The parole board, which has repeatedly requested Legislative appropriations to set up a professional statewide parole system, is once more seeking funds for ‘this purpose. The state prison system is also seeking several million dollars for construction of additional buildings. Here is what the prison board and Texas committee, NPPA, believe should be done: OSeventy parole officers are needed to investigate and supervise parolees, assuming the rate of release can be stepped up 50 percent. This is a conservative assumption and can be increased by the third year of the program. OForty officers can be selected and on the job at the end of the first year. Taking into account salaries, travel expense, officer equipment, tnd supplies, a first-year program will cost $221,000 over and above the current operational cost of the Board of Pardons and Paroles. 0 Thirty additional officers can be employed the second year. The total cost for the second year will be $545,000 above the operational cost of the board. By the end of the second year, staffing would be complete and the program approaching maximum efficiency level. If this plan were put into effect late in 1957, there would be a drop in the rate of increase in the prison population. As a result, prison costs would decrease. In the second year the costs and savings would balance. In the third year the program would show a profit. Succeeding years would
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