Sales Tax Bills Flood House AUSTIN The legislature b a c k e d away from a permanent ban on a state income tax, considered a bevy of selective sales taxes, took steps toward creating four year colleges at Arlington and Stephenville, postponed action on a series of newspaper-backed “freedom of information” bills, heard compliments from lobbyists who appeared to support legislative p a y raise measures and kicked around the wet-dry issue this week. Rep. W. T. Oliver, Port Neches, ran a member-by-member poll of the House of Representatives on a general sales tax and came up with 69 members flatly opposed, five for, and the rest uncommitted. Seventy six members compose a House majority. In four days of lengthy committee hearings and several full blown floor debates, the House plodded through the eighth legislative week while tax bills continued to pile up in the House revenue and tax committee. While the Governor’s business taxes to defray the deficit languished in sub-committees, a spread of new selective sales tax measures were introduced on phonographs, juke boxes, records, parking lots, beer, gasoline purchased at the pump, liquor by the drink, soda pop syrup, hotel and motel rooms, air line operations, gross receipts from advertising, and a 15 cent per barrel tax on companies storing or transporting oil into the state. The latter measure, by Rep. Jack Connell, Jr., of Wichita Falls, would raise an estimated $1.6 million over the biennium. All of the Governor’s bills aimed at wiping out the deficit are now in revenue and tax subcommittee except the abandoned. bank accounts bill, which has been bucked to Atty. Gen. Will Wilson. Still another measure, a sales tax on TPEA Chief For ‘All of Them’ AUSTIN W. P. Watts, executive director of the Texas Public Employees’ Assn., endorses generally all legislation “that’ll help us” but does not specifically endorse the only pay raise-for-state employees bill introduced this ‘session by the Travis County delegation. “We’re for any of themwe’re for all of them,” Watts said. “We don’t have any exclusion on what bill the legislature might want to pass.” The Travis county delegation has asked Gov. Daniel to submit the pay raise bill as emergency legislation. The bill mainly provides pay raises for low-income state workers. What would Watts’s position be on the request of Daniel? “I don’t tell them how to run their businessI’d be the last one to criticize, or condone,” Watts said. “Don’t put me on the spot fella, I’ve got to get along too. We do know that there is a definite need to give a little relief.” The Austin chapter of T.P.E.A. met Feb. 27. What did they do? “We endorsed all bills that help state employees,” Watts said. Specifically the Travis County bill? “We don’t single out any one,” he said. Why not? “We don’t want to cut off any avenues that might be open to us,” he said. “We’re not gonna try to tell the legislature how to give it to us.” J. D. Givens, international representative for the state employees’ union, endorsed the Travis County legislators’ bill “as written.” cigarettes sold on military reservations designed to raise $4 million over the biennium, followed the now well established pattern of running into unenthusiastic committee reception before being carried limply to subcommittee, underscoring that even a selective sales tax, when bearing the Governor’s stamp, finds a lukewarm reception. in Rep. V. L. Ramsey’s committee. Rep. Jamie Clements, Crockett, is sponsor of the cigarette bill. Tax Ban Set Back Rep. Marshall Bell’s constitutional amendment forever barring a state income tax collapsed under assault from anti-sales taxers and vanished into subcommittee limbo. When the bill . emerged from a favorable sub-committee to consideration before the full committee, Rep. Ted Myatt, Cleburne, tacked on an amendment forever banning a state general sales tax, too. Committee chairman James Cotten, conservative from Weatherford, ruled the amendment “not germane” to the bill. Rep. Bob Eckhardt, Houston liberal, appealed the chairman’s ruling, and by a vote of 9 to 8 the committee overruled Cotten. Myatt’s amendment then passed, 11 to 7. The conservatives, throwing in the towel, moved to recommit the bill, and the committee unanimously packed it off for the duration. Various educational measures, not tied to the Hale-Aikin proposals, received attention. A House subcommittee refused to decide whether San Antonio or Austin should get the new state medical ‘school. Senator Charles Herring and Rep. Charles Sandahl introduced identical measuures establishing pre-school classes for deaf children. The House passed and sent to the Senate, where somewhat tougher opposition looms, the bills making Arlington State and Tarleton State senior colleges. Rep. Don Kennard’s bill -for a state sick leave program for teachers awaits House action. The Governor’s tax program, having a hard enough time in the revenue and tax committee even when legislators introduced his recommendations exactly as specified in the executive budget address, had to shoulder a new burden when Rep. Pete La Valle of Texas City tacked a liquor-by-thedrink amendment to his bill carrying the Governor’s liquor tax recommendations. Col. J. T. Ellis, the Governor’s financial adviser, emphatically announced the Governor “had not seen” LaValle’s amendment and ‘does not endorse it.” LaValle announced minutes before the committee convened that he had the amendment, saying it had no purpose other than”to raise more money than the original Governor’s bill.” He estimated the amendment would raise $10 million a year. Rep. Cotten raised a point of order to strike the amendment from the bill as “not germane.” When committee chairman Ramsey stalled on the question, Cotten insisted on an immediate decision. Thereupon Ramsey called a five minute recess “to check with my lawyer” and disappeared in the office of House Speaker Waggoner Carr. Upon his return he told Cotten he would have a ruling before the bill returned from subcommittee. Cotten, not mollified, then asked the committee to postpone sending the bill to subcommittee for a week “to give the chairman plenty of time to study the question.” The motion to postpone was tabled, 13 to 2, and the measure went to subcommittee with the liquor-by-the-drink rider still attached. The amendment would permit establishments serving food also to serve liquor in sealed containers of two ounces or less, taxing the containers five cents each. The original Daniel proposal, which the LaValle measure also retains, would raise the liquor tax from $1.40 to $2.50 per gallon and would boost the sales taxes on new and used cars, cigars, pipe tobacco, and chewing tobacco. Liquor lobbyist Johnnie B. Rogers, former state senator, told the committee not to put any . stock in claims the federal government plans to slice its liquor. tax. “If they do, I’ll jump off the top of this Capitol building,” Rogers said. While the wets tried to fight off taxes before the revenue committee, the drys sustained a dousing in the liquor committee, which dispatched prohibitionist lobbyist Rev. 0. F. Dingler’s no-beer-onSunday law to hostile subcommitte chairmaned by the legislator who has been Dingler’s chief critic, R. A. Bartram from the historic beer drinking German community of New Braunfels, who accused Dingier of telling a “bald-faced” lie last week. Rep. Homer Koliba of Columbus told reporters a straw poll in his district indicates a preference for liquor by the drink and legalized horse racing. “They say legalize them and put on a heavy tax,” Koliba said, adding, “I like having liquor served by the drink. They do it anyway at these clubs and there’s no tax on them. I say legalize, and tax them hard.” Party Bill Slowed The party affiliation bill was torpedoed, though perhaps not amid-ships, when a ‘skeptical subcommittee appointed by Rep. Harold Parish sent it to Atty. Gen. Will Wilson for a constitutionality test. The question revolves around a constitutional provision prohibiting registration of voters in counties of less than 10,000 population. Sponsor Jamie Clements, Crockett, said he’s sure Wilson will rule on the bill “like the fine lawyer he is.” The House aeronautics commission voted to maintain the Texas Aeronautics Commission, 5-4. Rep Bill Hollowell is seeking its abolition on grounds that it does nothing useful. Defenders argued, among other things, that it assists *With a priest representing Archbishop Lacey present, the strike against Tex-Son, Inc., in San Antonio, which spattered violence last week, was orderly this week … A committee of Houston local 74 of the boilermaker’s local asked Robert F. Kennedy of the U. S. Senate rackets committee to investigate its cowplaints against the union’s international. Kennedy said he’d check. An injunction suit filed in. Austin by a Prostestant group of taxpayers alleges state funds are being used illegally to support a Catholic school at Bremond. An Austin woman, 46, was charged with DWI in a fatal accident, was filed on for murder with a motor vehicle … A Dallas Times-Herald staff writer condemned, in a front page “open letter,” “easy jurors” who are “as much responsible for traffic bloodshed, s or r o w, and destruction as anyone else.” More than 2,000 employees of Temco aircraft in Dallas will be laid off by mid-’59 because of decreased contracts, the firm announced. in and encourages the construction of new airfield strips. The House state affairs committee heard testimony for Rep. Bob Eckhardt’s bill to authorize area planning commissions for counties or groups of counties with powers to recommend plans and to levy taxes on a public vote. Louis Welch, Houston city councilman, endorsed the bill for the Texas Municipal League and the Texas Mayors’ and Councilmen’s Assn. Rep. Dean Johnston’s bill for requiring cities and other municipalities to bargain with their employees “upon request” received a hearing i n House committee. Johnston said the bill only affirms the constitutional rights of citizens to petition for redress of grievances. His bill bars the right to strike. The 56-hours-a-week bill for firemen and policemen was reported favorably from House subcommittee 3-2. in a raucous session in which Rep. Raymond RuSsell protested that the in Joor it y seemed to be able to find the bill but not his amendment. His amendment was voted down, although unavailable. Rep. Charles Hughes, a subcommittee chairman, said a clerk must have lost it; Russell referred to it as “stolen.” Awaiting House action is Rep. Don Kennard’s bill to provide 8020 state-local financing for a tenure sick leave policy giving all teachers in public schools up to five days a year cumulative to 30 days maximum. In the Senate two “freedom of information” bills sponsored by four newspaper groups went to subcommittees after encountering senatorial complaints about their “vague and loosely drawn” provisions. The jurisprudence committee turned down immediate consideration of a bill by Sen. David Ratliff, Stamford radio man, authorizing a shift in venue in cases involving the destruction or theft of public records. The state affairs committee ,subcommitteed a bill opening to the public all meetings of public agencies of state, county, city and other local subdivisions of government except those such as grand juries closed by law. Sen. Robert Baker of Houston said the bill opened the way to premature disclosure of Highway Commission plans for rights of way and new road locations. Sen. Jimmy Phillips of Angleton questioned the measure’s effect on competing navigation districts engaged in industrial development negotiations. The Parkhouse bill requiring labor unions to file financial reports and prohibiting dues or assessments from being used in political campaigns passed out of Senate committee. The bill was revised largely by Jim Yancy, counsel for the Texas Manufacturers’ Assn. It is not acceptable to labor, according to AFL -CIO attorney Houston Clinton, Jr. Rancher Joe Bowers of Uvalde testified before a Senate finance committee that the Highway Deupratment is “wasting a third of a million dollars” on an unnecessary 16-mile road which crosses lobbyist Claude Gilmer’s ranch near Rock Springs. Bowers sayi\\ the road damages his ranch. Bills carrying pay increases for Dallas and Harris County judges and for state employees were introduced. Senators Charles Herring of Austin proposed a longevity pay increase bill for all state employees. The much-publicized advertise Texas bill, backed by the Governor, emerged from sub-committee with a heavy load of amendments and after some debate in the House state affairs committee returned to subcommittee. Ralph Opposes Bill for Primaries In May, 1960 AUSTIN The Bell Bill to move the primary elections back to May, generally regarded as “a state aid for Lyndon” bill, has drawn emphatic resistance from Sen. Yarborough on other grounds. A likely consequence of holding the primaries in May instead of July and August would be the renomination of Sen. Johnson for another term well before the national Democratic convention in ‘ Los Angeles late in July. The bill now rests somewhat groggily in a subcommittee. Rep. Dean Johnston, a member of the group, and hardly a Johnson admirer, says the subcommittee will give the bill “a very serious study it raises a lot of awful difficult questions, such as trying to get poll lists ready by February.” Sen. Yarborough, in a letter which reached the inquisitive eyes of an Observer reporter, advised Texas sources to “by all means oppose” the bill. He argued that farmers are plowing, college students are in class, and lawyers are in courtrooms in May. Volunteer helpers, on whom “the real Democrats” depend in elections, are most available “in the summertime when students home from school can volunteer
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