iINIVIONOVVVVIAIVIIVIkAIWVVVVVYNIVVV II.otts nem AUSTIN In a flurry of wild punches and soaring desk calendars, the 56th legislature chomped to its closing day with open fisticuffs, public curses, and public apologies. The contestants: On Wednesday, Rep. Jack Richardson of Uvalde, pitching, and Senator George Parkhouse, Dallas, catching; on Thursday, Rep. Jerry Sadler, oilman turned pugilist, and Rep Lou Dugas, stout antagonist of Nikita Khrushchev. The Parkhouse Richardson feud began early in the week when Parkhouse sharply revised in the Senate an antitrespassing bill that had been Richardson’s major project of the session. Richardson replied the next day by knocking one of Parkhouse’s bills off the local calendar in the House by raising a point of order, permissible under strict session-ending rules. Whereupon, the florid-faced Dallas senator labored across the aisle to the House, found his man, and initiated the following repartee: Parkhouse: “I see where you’re taking care of my business over here.” Richardson: “Well, you took care of my business over there.” Parkhouse: “Well, you better not come to Dallas, you son of a ….” Richardson, jumping to his feet, heaved a small metal desk calendar that barely missed Rep. Charles Hughes’s cheek and scored a direct hit on Parkhouse’s shoulder. “No one can call me a son of a” what he called him, Richardson said. At which moment all par ties concerned had to be restrained, and Parkhouse, glaring angrily over his shoulder, was escorted from the chamber. End Round One. Round Two: The next day the 56th was droning through its final minutes. Rep. Dugas introduced a resolution putting the House of Representatives on record as declaring Nikita Khrushchev “not welcome in Texas.” With some passion, Dugas, a stalwart conservative from Orange, explained his dislike for Cornmunists. Rep. Sadler, an equally stalwart conservative from Percilia, Hickory Grove, and Palestine in East Texas, said the resolution offended the judgment of President Eisenhower, Vice President Nixon, and the State Department. He told Dugas the resolution was a “helluva way for you to try to get publicity on the last day of the session.” The House voted down the resolution by a four to one margin. Whereupon Mr. Dugas hailed the vote as “a victory for Mr. Khrushchev and his sidekick Mr. Sadler.” Sadler then went over to Dugas’s desk by the side of the House and asked him to step into the aisle. Mr. Dugas complied and was greeted on arrival by an energetic but poorly aimed roundhouse swing thrown by Mr. Sadler. B. L. Parker, the House sergeant-atarms, clamped a bear-hug on the swinging Sadler, and Round Two ended. Moments later, Mr. Dugas apologized publicly, “not because I’m afraid of Mr. Sadler, but I lost my temper and want to apologize.” Sadler and Dugas shook hands. Turman Gets Liberal Votes For Speaker AUSTIN The battle to determine the political philosophy and direction of the 1960-’61 House of Representatives was joined in earnest on the final day of the 56th legislature when some of the House liberal bloc threw their support to Rep. James Turman, a moderate from the northeast Texas town of Gober, in what has developed into a two-man duel with conservative Rep. Wade Spilman for Speaker of the next House. Both announced “I’ve got a majority,” but with a heavy turnover in legislators freely predicted for the ’60-61 session, the final decision almost certainly hinges on next summer’s legislative races. The Speaker is selected by a majority vote of the 150 House members on the first day of each biennial regular session. Spilman, a staunch conservative from McAllen, and Turman, a moderate with liberal proclivities on tax matters, spent the final legislative day in the sharpest psychological warfare to date ?3o 1-13 i ,ssued victory statements after emerging from closed-door meetings with the House liberals. Spilman claimed pledges from a majority of the current membership. He said he hoped the other speaker’s candidates would not “prolong” the race and produce bitterness such as divided the 56th legislature into Carr and Burkett groups. Turman said he met with a group of liberal leaders who, after talking to him, reported to a larger group of liberals caucusing in The one great rule of composition is to speak the truth. THOREAU We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. The ,,,, bserver ,61~ 0-Q g o o 41`. .4 III 05″ .ependent-Liberal Weekly Newspaper Vol. 51 TEXAS, AUGUST 8, 1959 10c per copy No. 18 Eckhardt on Income Tax AUSTIN Rep. Bob Eckhardt, generally acknowledged after his leadership in the legislative series now coming to an end as one of the most important spokesmen of the liberal movement in Texas, described an approach . on taxes for the future in what may have been the opening shot of the 1961 legislature Wednesday. He advocated a higher tax on gas pipelines than the present legislature passed and a corporate net profits tax to replace the present business franchise tax; for some time soon, but not, he thought, in the 1961 legislature, he broached a graduated personal income tax figured as a flat percentage of the federal income tax. He spoke to the AFL-CIO summer institute in progress in Austin, which was not covered by the daily press. Other speakers during the week included Ed Burris, executive vice president, Texas Manufacturers’ Assn., who described his organization and expressed optimism that labor and management can work together; Horace Busby, editor, The Texas Businessman \(see Ruth Allen, professor of econom ics, University of Texas, who discussed early chapters in Texas labor history; and the Observer’s editor, who discussed “The Liberal Movement in Texas.” Eckhardt said: “There is a myth sold through the House and througn the press to the people that is partly true, that it is essential at this time to adopt some broad based tax.” He agreed that the state will have either a sales tax or an income tax to finance the state. But this will not be true, he said, “until a sufficient tax is placed on gas pipelines” and other alternatives have been exhausted. “It is becoming more and more apparent,” he said, “that a corporate income tax would be vastly superior to the hodge-podge approach to taxing business in the franchise tax.” Rep. Dean Johnston, Houston, introduced such a tax this session; it garnered 35 votes in the House at one point but subsequently lost strength. An alternative almost cleared the House in negotiationsmodifying the franchise tax to include profits as a consideration. Eckhardt argued that the profits tax takes into account “the ability of the’ corporation to pay the tax,” while the franchise tax is computed on “an entirely artificial basis, what a company is capitalized for.” This can be “what a company says it’s worth,” what has been presumably paid in as capital, and, he said, it can tax unfairly some heavily-capitalized companies which have small earnings. “I think we should limit franchise taxes to the actual cost of administering the regulation of the corporations and not use it for a general revenue raising program,” he said. The franchise tax should be “replaced by a corporate net profits tax.” ‘Keep Our Minds Open Agreeing some broad based tax will be necessary, Eckhardt continued, “It’s my position that we will never need a general sales tax and that we never should have one. There will come a timeI think this is not the time, I don”t think next session is the time when we will have to consider the personal income tax.” His audience, about 50 labor leaders from different parts of the state, evidenced a sharpened interest as he continued: “The best way is by taking a AUSTIN The new state budget parcels money in a widely varied pattern to meet major functionsthe prison system does relatively well, higher education less well, and the hospital system least well of all. ‘Among the state agencies, two that are seeking to cope with growing social problems, the Migrant Labor Council and the Industrial Accident Board, will have to mothball their major 1960-’61 programs because funds to finance them were not appropriated. In higher education, the new budget is not the “bold leap” blueprinted by the Commission on Higher Education and the University of Texas’s Committee of 75. The state’s 18 colleges and universities will receive approximately half the $22 million increase sought by the Commission to meet rising enrollment and to “enrich” to a higher academic level. Faculty salaries, an area the Committee of 75 said required severe upgrading, will be increased approximately $420 per year, according to Legislative Budget Board estimates of the new budget. Such a boost would raise average faculty salaries from $5,887 for all ranks to $6,307 annually. The increase represents a compromise between the Legislative Budget Board’s recommendation for no increase on the one hand, and the $800-900 annual increases recommended by the Commission on Higher Education and by the original appropriation bill passed by the House. The overall higher education increase of $11 million compares to the Commission’s $22 million re AUSTIN \(To readers for whom an appropriations bill story is a hopeless jumble of figures, the Observer offers this broad sketch of the state’s public spending for the The appropriations bill written by the 56th legislature calls for $2.4 billion in spending, with roughly one-third going to the public schools and one third for everything else. Of the highway money, 40 per cent comes from the federal government, the rest from state gasoline taxes, motor vehicle taxes, and licenses. The public school money is all state-appropriated except $20 million for federal programs for vocational education, rehabilitation, and other programs. The largest chunk of the remaining one-third of the quest, approved en toto by the House, and the $7 million level granted by the Senate. A fact sheet on the budget stresses, however, that the $420 increase is not a guaranteed across-the-board boost to all professors. “These averages and amounts are only illustrative of the resources available to the colleges. The actual amount of pay increase to any college teacher will be determined by that college’s administration and will be influenced by actual enrollments and student-teacher ratios,” it was explained. The prison sytem, striving to contain a rapidly expanding population that has produced overcrowding, received a greater percentage of its requested funds than any major state function relying on general revenue fund appropriation. Of $9 million requested to build two new prison farms and provide other capital improvements, the Department of Corrections received $7.7 million, and of a requested $11.6 million for general operating expenses, the system was allocated $11.1 million. No New Psychiatrists The pattern followed in prison appropriations was abandoned in 1960-’61 budgeting for the state’s sprawling system of mental and tubercular hospitals and special schools. Of a requested $117 mil lion, the system got $90 million up about $6 million over current levels. The budget provides no n e w authorized positions for psychiatrists and case workers for the mental hospitals. Of a $17 million building fund request, largely for major repairs and re novations in the old hospitals, the budget grants $6.2 million, in Colleges Win, Hospitals Lose In State Spending The Broad Result state’s money fits the general category of public welcludes old age assistance, child welfare, aid to the blind, and aid to totally and permanently disabled. More than two-thirds of this money, $259 million, comes from the federal government. The state’s embattled general revenue fundwhich was what all the tax warfare was about constitutes the next largest portion: $322.8 million, with higher education getting almost half, $150 million; the hospital system $90 million; the Department of Public Safety $25 million; and the remainder going to all the other . agencies of the state, ranging from the Water Engineers to the tiny Council on Migrant Labor.
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