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BOW WILLIAMS Automobite and General Insurance Budget Payment Plan Strong Stook Companies GReenwood 24545 624 LAMAR, AUSTIN Let’s Abolish the Poll Tax! Member of the Piano Technicians Guild, Inc. Douglas R. Strong PIANO TECHNICIAN Tuning, Repairing, Rebuilding Ackson 3-1278 808 Harold, Houston 6, Texas Over $1 1 0 Million Insurance In Force Ci I -1/e, e a \(4 4 ie INSURANCE COMPANY P. 0. Box 8098 Houston, Texas LOAN, TRAFFIC SAFETY CHANGES ASKED council recommends a small loan licensing and regulatory billbut no change in the 10 percent interest limit. Rate-setting it would leave to a subsequent legislature. The 1959 law would make the banking commissioner the regulator of the small loan business and would require every small lender to gel a license, without which he could be jailed six months and fined $1000 for every day’s operation. In the council’s subcommittee, Rep. Kennard, Fort Worth, favored including, in the 1959 bill, an interest limit, but Lt. Gov. Ben Ramsey had made clear his own position against such “a cap,” and the other four members, Sens. Kazen, Laredo, and Reagan, Corpus Christi, and Reps. Hughes, Dallas, and Roberts, Lamesa, opposed including rate-making in the 1959 law. This would mean that the legislature would ask the people to do away with the ten percent limitation without advising them how much interest the legislature was going to authorize as legal. If the people approved the constitutional amendment, the legislature would come back and set the new interest rate. `Broad Cohesion’ In the .behind-the-scenes arguments, the small lenders strongly favored this sequence for the legislation. State officials who took this position argued that to open the rate-making issue in the 1959 legislature would prevent enactment of the proposed constitutional amendment and-or the licensing act during the session. On the other hand there was the fear that the people might not trust the legislature to set a rea BRAINPOWER IS OUR MOST VITAL RESOURCE! You can’t dig education est tre Theres only ens plass where earth. business and industry ens get the educated men and 1111111111 so vitally needed for future progress. That’s from our eid ai and =bromides. Today these institutions are doing their best to meet the need. But they face a crisis. The demand for brains is fa*, and so is the in presture vu l eollew applications. More stoney most be raised each year to expand f alties ‘ bring faculty salaries up _to ea adequate standardprovide a sound education for the young people wit* need and deserve it As a practical business mew imm, kelp the colleges or =liversides el your ehoieenowt The aster= will be greater than yes think. sonable rate of interest and therefore might defeat the constitutional amendment. C. Read Granbery, staff director of the council, told the Observer: “We heard it \(the recommended pretty broad approval throughout the entire industry. With twothirds of both houses required to get a constitutional amendment, you’ve got to have a pretty broad cohesion.” He characterized the recommendations as “a one-two punch in time,” in one session submitting the constitutional amendment to the voters and enacting. a licensing bill, and in a session two years later having “the scrap on rates.” “Frankly if you pitched the rate issue into this session we’d have an awful scramble,” Granbery said. Discussing the absence of any criminal penalties in the licensing bill except for making small loans without a license, Granbery said that such penalties might involve litigants with the Court of Criminal Appeals and said instead the council decided on “a strong administrative structure” based on licensing. The proposed bill distinguishes between lenders from $5 to $100 and from $100 to $3000; condemns “usurious overcharges, entrapment in perpetual debt, and vicious harassment”; exempts from the definition of “charges” on loans “insurance premiums” approved by state law; exempts from the law itself anyone doing business under a 1931 law “relating to loan and brokerage companies,” as well as other credit associations; requires everyone lending small loans to get a license and to have $15,000 in capital; authorizes annual inspections of small loan companies and requires annual reports; prohibits false or deceptive advertising; requires lenders to disclose fully and in writing to borrowers the conditions of loans and to receipt all loan payments; and prohibits splitting of loans or garnishing more than ten percent of a borrower’s wages. The law does not define or prohibit “vicious harassment,” although it uses this term in its declaration of legislative intent. Driving Penalties The council, through its committee on “traffic accidents,” proposed defining by law the presumptions about drunkenness to be established in court eases and accepted as evidence from DWI drunkometer tests; permitting the highway commission a n d the Texas Turnpike Authority to alter speed limits \(presumably up to 70 for highway patrolmen, and 200 new patrolmen; and adding driver education as an activity supported by the foundation school program. Its most controversial ideas were embodied in a proposed amended version of the Texas driver license law. A careful reading of this draft reveals that the council has proposed these new authorities for the Department of Public Safety: Authority to revoke the drivers’ licenses of a person who “is a frequent violator of the traffic laws,” or has failed to appear in court in answer to any traffic ticket \(“has unlawfully failed to comply with a written promise to appear in court in answer to a or has failed ‘:,to report for and submit to any examination … rects. Authority to require drivers to “report to a duly authorized representative of the Department” for “special consultation and-or special examination” and to “require his attendance at a traffic school … not to exceed 10 hours .11 “Sec. 42. Arrest without warrant. Any peace officer is authorized to arrest without warrant any person found committing a violation of any provision of this Act.” The new law would apply the penalties of the act to “all persons who have passed their 14th birthday” notwithstanding other state laws, and the juveniles would be tried in regular courts, “not under the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Courts.” Finally, the new law, to encourage reporting of violations, from which overtime parking would for the first time be excluded, would require the courts to “add a reporting fee of $1 to any fine collected for reportable offenses,” which the court would split with the state in return for reporting the offenses. The offenses which would have to be thus reported and for every one of which an extra fine of $1 would therefore be addedare, according to Sec. 20 of the draft law, any violations of any traffic laws or ordinances “other than regulations governing overtime parking.” In the report on. auto insurance, the council recommended Texas retain its uniform rate-setting law, under which companies can, if they wish, rebate part of their premiums to their policyholderS. The council reported that 47 out of 51 states and territories let companies file their rates with the regulatory agencies, which then approve or disapprove them, but that Texas and four other states have the fixed rate pattern, which it reports is obviously “stronger control”, of the rate-making process. Thirty two states have higher average auto insurance rates than Texas, the council said. \(On the economics of auto insurance, the council reported that to summarize its figuresabout 45 percent of a person’s auto insurance premiums go to the cornpanies for overhead and profit and about 55 percent is used to `Spe9ial Funds’ The council completed a study of the special funds which tie up a considerable portion of the state’s revenue in expenditures over which the legislature has little or no present control. Under terms of an instruction which noted that such funds prevent the legislature and the governor “from considering the relative and total needs of state agencies in the light of total state revenues” and asked for recommendations on abolishing or continuing the various funds, the council declined to make such recommendations. In an inventory of the special funds, the council discovered that out of $1,333,000,000 In the state treasury Aug. 31, only $9 million was apparently available for appropriation. Major commitments of the funds: ‘the permanent school and university funds, $684 million; funds spendable for specific purposes, like the available school and state highway funds, $173 million; trust or pledged funds, $387 million. The total of the balances of all state funds Aug. 31 was $2.2 billion. In addition to the $1.3 billion in the treasury, this included $813 million deposited “w i t h” the Treasurer, mostly trust funds or funds deposited in compliance with state law; and another $75 million “outside” the treasury, including $66 million controlled by institutions of higher education, $8 million controlled by state agencies, and $1 million controlled by state hospitals and special schools. The committee on state services for the mentally retarded, physically handicapped, and chronically ill was directed by the Senate to conduct “a complete and thorough study” of all problems of educating, training, caring, and treating such people, including “an examination of existing facilities, both public and private” and “recommendations concerning the improvement, expansion, and coordination of all these facilities.” The House resolution on the subject was less sweeping, calling for “a study concerning all physically handicapped persons in Texas, both children and adults, as to the number of such persons, treatment facilities available, and pos .sibilities for their vocational training or rehabilitation.” The legislative committee of the council declined to recommend any of the “numerous specific proposals” concerning welfare services for the handicapped and chronically ill. Instead it advocated a co-ordinating agency over state welfare -services “to deal with all phases of the state’s welfare activities.” This agency is needed, said the committeeSens. Colson and Reagan, Reps. Jamison, Parish, and Schwartz”because the state’s welfare activities require the third largest expenditure category of state funds.” In the bill proposed by the council on this “coordinating cornmission for state welfare services,” it is stipulated that “the chairman shall be a member of the legislature” rather than any of the private citizens or state officials on the commission. It is further provided that: “Members of the commission shall serve without compensation, but members’ of the commission who are members of the legislature shall be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses while in attendance upon meetings of the commission …” The’ commission would study “cost and adequacy,” “duplication,” “institution of additional services,” and other aspects of state welfare programs. Parks, Beaches Other Council reports: State parks: Establish a committee to screen proposals for new parks and consider abandoning old ones. Give priority to maintenance over new parks; reject new parks over which the state would not have full control. Bring San Jacinto State Park, the Battleship Texas, Fannin State Park, and the Alamo under the State Parks Board and abolish the separate commissions governing them now. Acton State Parka cemetery lot bearing a marker to Davy Crockett’s wifemight be given up by the state. The parks board now manages 58 parks with 61,838 acres and a total value of $7 million; in 1958 there were more than five million visitors. “De spite the fact that 12 states outrank Texas in both number of parks and park acreage, 16 states receive higher annual appropriations, and seven Texas cities allot more for their municipal parks than is -spent by the entire state parks system in one year, our parks are a credit to the state.” Submerged areas: The absence of authority in any one executive agency of the state to negotiate for the state on submerged areas and islands has “deprived the state of much-needed revenue” and resulted in “-stalemate or unauthorized developments.” The School Land Board should be considered “as held in trust by the state for the use, benefit, and enjoyment of the general public,” and no exclusive right to these beaches should be granted to any private interest unless authorized by the legislature. An act should be passed regulating construction of any obstructions on the shores and arms of the Gulf which hinder public access to the publicowned beach and shore areas. Lands, Schools State land: The state owns about 264,132 acres of land of an inventory value of $25 million and a current market value of more than $100 million. The land is being used for state offices, conservation of fish and wildlife, higher education, highway s, hospitals and special schools, armories and military reservations, law enforcement, parks, and prisons. Some is leased to private people or firms, some is unused, and some is forest land. Although the Comptroller is designated as the custodian of deeds for the state, state agencies are not using this depository. The General Land Office should have all such records and should report regularly to the legislature on the state lands. School laws codification: The M. D. Anderson Foundation of Houston gave the council $20,500 for the study. The council hired Looney, Clark, Mathews, Thomas, and Harris to undertake the codification, which will be published in mid-1960. Laws “appearing to need” substantive changes are to -be brought to the attention of the council by the law firm. Narcotics treatment: Do not construct new hospitals for treating drug addicts, since only one patient asked to be admitted to a state hospital for drug addiction treatment since the 1957 authori