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DEATH OF THE LOBBYIST CONTROL BILL plauded and ordered printed in the House Journal. HUGHES commended Speaker Waggoner Carr and the House for trying to get a lobby bill, but, he said, “The Senate did not want a bill.” Some of the senators did, “but very influential senators and the Lieutenant Governor do not want a lobby regulation bill.” “They led us down the garden. path,” he said. “Anything to delay, anything to stall, anything to do nothing. We pleaded, we begged, we sniveled, we threatened, we cajoled. They did not want any bill that was effective at all.” Hardeman, he said, wanted a . bill that was “completely unconstitutional,” and apparently Ramsey “does not want a lobby registration. bill,” Hughes said. He had thought, he said, that reform would succeed, with the former general land commissioner in the penitentiary, two former insurance commissioners before the grand jury, and a number of legislators “probably going to be indicted as soon as this session is over.” He read from DeWitt and McLennan county grand jury reports, the one criticizing senators’ cash payments and saying they couldn’t be adequately designated as “legal fees,” the other criticizing ex-Sens. Gus Straus, Hallettsville, and William Shireman, Corpus Christi, and present Sen. Carlos Ashley, Llano, for being “employed in Austin and paid in cash” while admitting they did “little or nothing” in return. Other senators have taken fees, he saidfees for which he did not condemn them, but about which “the Senate has said not one word.” He reviewed a gift of $7,000 he said Sen. George Parkhouse, Dallas, received from Robert E. Lee Insurance Co., in stock he later resold for that sum. \(Parkhouse said in defense: “I was doing public relations work for Robert E. Lee … My name was in their public advertising and in signed statements to the Insurance Commission.” He said he’s voted for Charles Herring He Got a New Committee Hughes said Sen. Bill Moore, Bryan, received $13,600 in fees from Texas Mutual, $200 a month from General American Casualty which went bankrupt in 1954, and other fees from other firms; that Shireman took $3,000 from U. S. Trust & Guaranty and gave it back; that Straus took $4,600 from U.S. Trust and $11,500 in block veterans’ land deals; that ex-Sen. Rogers Kelly took $4,800 from U. S. Trust; and that ex-Sen. John Bell took $27,000 “for the same sort of services.” One ex-senator, Warren McDonald of Tyler, refused $3,600 from U. S. Trust, he said. “Never yet, never yet on the Senate floor has anybody got up ” Hughes was saying when Rep. Lou Dugas, Orange, objected on a point of order to Hughes’s comments. Barefoot Sanders, in the chair, said he hadn’t been listening and asked Hughes to confine his remarks to the matter under discussion. Hughes, too, was applauded. AT THIS MOMENT the Senate was electing Sen. Ashley, recipient of a $10,000 “fee” from A. B. Shoemake of U. S. Trust & Guaranty, their president pro-tempore for the interim. He and Moore had come eligible for the job under the Senate’s tenure system, and he had been chosen in caucus. He was elected with 29 ayes and one “present not voting.” His nomination was made by Hardeman and seconded by Sens. Fuller, Ratliff, Moffett, Parkhouse, Kazen, and Secrest. “It has been said that this is the greatest deliberative body in the world,” Ashley said in accepting. “I count it an honor to be one of your number.” Shortly thereafter Herring rose and asked that the Senate conferees on lobby control “be discharged” and a new group appointed. He reported “no progress.” He had just put on the acting president’s desk a petition signed by 16 senators asking for the new committee. \(When he had asked Ramsey about it the day Hardeman then made his only public statement. He had “no objection whatsoever” to lobby registration but had “certain feelings about the matter. I’m not gonna Frates Seeligson Senate offered ‘Nothing’ yield on the principle if the whole world comes down. I’ve seen the one man in the right become the majority.” He said the House bill “weakens the present lobby laws” and that he wanted “everybody that lobbies to come in.” Sen. George Moffett, Chili: cothe, said: “Our state has a very strict law against bribery. I think we can’t improve on that I register. I don’t care a thing about exempting anybody.” The new committee was agreed to by voice vote. Then Lock, a member of the old committee, appointed the new onewith Hardeman the chairman again. Other members were Bill Fly, Victoria, Jarrard Secrest, Temple, Bill Wood, Tyler, and Lane again. With only two hours left in the session the conferees met for the last time behind the Senate c h a m b e r. Seeligson, Zbranek, Hughes, and Dick Slack represented the House, but they could not keep a quorum of the senators there. Lane was the only one there at first. Then Wood and Fly came in; Lane was surprised by the presence of the press and left, never to return. Secrest and Hardeman never showed up at all, so it fell to Fly and Wood to represent the Senate. Fly left part of the time, too. When Lane asked if the press were “part of the committee,” Hughes and Zbranek both replied it was a “public matter,” and while Seeligson said he was “an executive session man myself,” nobody forced the point, Lane having left. Hughes explained t h e only thing they hadn’t been able to give up was total expenditures reports. Seeligson said the decision to be made was “real real simple … Are the members of the Senate going to let the total amount of expenditures be reported?” : Zbranek differed with his. House colleagues on the meaning of the wording of a clause they might compromise on, and they argued over it. This evoked the comment from Wood, “Well now youall agree among yourselves.” Wood and Fly exchanged knowing and amused glances. Fly said “I’ve never read the original bill.” Wood said “I’ve been on this 15 minutes.” Seeligson said “Just talk to Hardeman.” Fly scratched his head, gestured with an open hand, and said, “I’ll see Hardeman.” HARDEMAN was in the chair. During the meeting he had said, to the Senate, “They’re not doing anything in there, they’re just helping the press.” The meeting was over about 4:25. The House conferees waited in vain for word from the Senate; it was not forthcoming. At 6 o’clock the session ended. That was that. R.D. Fifty-Fifth : Beginning of Some Reforms educational benefits, treatment of dope addicts in state hospitals, a permissible death penalty for pushing heroin to juveniles, and a 15-member commission to study the needs of old people. For the first time the legislature established a paid system of parole supervision which Speaker Waggoner Carr estimates will save the state $650,000 by 1960 by reduced prison population. The name of the prison system was changed to the Department of Corections, and a new Texas Youth Council to supervise juvenile correction was created. It turned down in the last week a bill to put the moral, but not the legal force of the state behind methods of preventing the state’s 250,000 industrial injuries every year. It passed a controversial w or k me n’s compensation bill whose effects no one seemed to understand completely and killed an increase in the state’s unemployment compensation weekly Salaries It raised salaries for teachers, some superintendents and principals, the college faculties, the judges, and state employees, expanded teachers’ and state employees’ retirement plans, and provided for a job classification survey of the state government. College faculty members received an average raise of $1,000 a year. Judges were certified for raises. About 14,000 state employees received a total raise for the biennium of $9.7 million, but most of it goes to middle and higher income workers. Teachers’ retirement was expanded $13.5 million for the biennium. The Highway Patrol was increased by 204 and given a special pay increase. Firemen’s longevity pay increased from $2 to $3 a month. At the beginning of the session Gov. Daniel said he might have to recommend a $35 million tax for the biennium on dedicated natural gas contracts. This would have fallen mostly on out-of-state consumers of Texas natural gas. But after Rep. Tom Joseph introduced the bill prepared by Jake Jacobsen of the Governor’s staff, it was discovered the enacting clause had been left off and the bill was invalid. Daniel chose not to push the tax. While he had backed a teachmore than $500 a year per teacher, he and the teachers’ lobby settled at the end of the session for $399 a year across the board. To get together enough money, he vetoed a bill for payment of a $4 million debt the state owes on some old bonds and got the legislature to require some gas companies to wait two years for repayment of $3.7 million in taxes they paid under the unconstitutional 1951 gas tax. \(Said Rep. Robert R. Patterson, Snyder, to Rep. DeWitt Hale, Corpus, at the House mikes last week: “DeWitt, I take it the gas companies would rather forego this judgment than have a special session and have a dedicated gas tax, is that right?” “That’s what ‘No Taxes’ Appropriating more than $2 billion for the next two years $77 million more for the schools, $51 million more for the colleges, $2 million more for the junior colleges, $3 million more for new prison buildings, $16.5 million more for the mental hospitals, and many millions more for the new state courts, office, library and archives, health department, and Texas Employment Commission buildingsthe legislature did not pass any new taxes in the strict sense of the term. But it raised auto licenses ten percent for $8 million in revenue. It doubled college tuitions to Ottis Lock Killed Half a Program raise another $9 million for the biennium. It appropriated one percent of the permanent school fund to the available school fund to account for another $12 million. And it increased hunting and fishing license fees \(in the course of creating universal fishrevenues tagged for the Game and Fish Commission. On the other hand, a Texas movie theatres were given tax relief. On the last day the House went along with the Senate on a bill by which the state will pay 50 percent of the costs of right-ofway while the counties pay the other 50 percent, and which also increases auto license fees ten percent. Rep. Harold Kennedy, Marble Falls, called it “that $8 million tax bill.” Rep. Herman Yezak, Bremond, said it “gigs” the small counties. Fighting the bill, Rep. B. H. Dewey, Jr., Bryan, said: “Here, the people of Texas have not asked us to pass this tax bill for right-of-way. Who is it? It’s the cement trust, the Good Roads Association, the county judges and commissioners who have mislaid some of their money and can’t buy the right of way.” He said the Highway Department is “a kingdom over there.” “The people that are for this bill,” he said, “are the people of Dallas and Houston whose people will not vote themselves a tax and want this legislature to put it on them.” Rep. Robert Baker, Houston, said the bill will cost $1 million to Houstonians and that Rep. Jim Heflin, Houston, is against it because he’s not sure the money will get back to Houston, but the rest of the Houston delegation were for it. Carr overruled a point of order that the bill had not had proper committee hearings. The bill then passed. A final objection flared briefly against House concurrence to the tuition increase bill. Rep. Tony Korioth, Sherman, said the session had granted tax relief to motion pictures, chain stores, and gas companies, “and now here you tax the students.” Rep. Ben Glusing, Kingsville, said it was too late to make any fundamental change in the state’s financial program, and the bill cleared the House finally, 96-30. Transit Trouble Also finally passed was a bill giving municipalities authority to issue revenue bonds and purchase local transit companies, provided such operations are approved by the voters of each city concerned. The measure, which applies to all Texas cities, was pushed through the legislature by Houston interests planning to sell the transit company there to the city. It reportedly has been losing money as a private operation despite the fact that fares have been raised in recent months. Opposition to the bill developed after it had already passed the Senate. THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 4 May 31, 1957