THE TEXAS OBSERVER 748NP= DANIEL LAMBASTS BUSINESS LOBBYISTS ‘Senate Conferees Holding Tax Line AUSTIN Gov. Price Daniel this week blasted as “false and distorted” a special telegram sent out to businessmen by Ed Burris, executive vice president of the Texas Manufacturing Assn., which warned that Daniel is favoring certain taxes on business. Daniel charged Burris “and other highly paid lobbyists” with trying to “place practically all the new tax burden directly on the people of Texas and none on the interstate corporations.” Daniel said: “Mr. Burris says that I urged rejection of the Senate version of HB 334 ‘because he, the Governor, wants to put more taxes directly on business.’ Now, Mr. Burris knows full well that I stated other .reasons for my objections, and that my main objections as to the direct ‘business taxes contained in the bill were that they are written so as to be temporary ate bill’s taxes on the people are permanent. “The only two taxes levied directly on business in the Senate tax bill are temporary, for two years only, while the taxes on individual purchases above 25c are made permanent. “This simply shows how completely selfish and unfair some special interests and their lobbyists can become in their anxiety to place practically all the new Senate Applies Freeze To Migrant Legislation Hotse Bill 113, which would improve safety standards for the trucks used to carry the migrants from job to job, passed the House, but in the closing hours of the session still seemed far from action in the Senate. House Bill 500, which required the licensing of crew leaders and thereby regulations that would lessen exploitation of their semiliterate workers, as of Thursday had not even received a vote in the House. House Bill 17, which set the compulsory school attendance age at from six years to 16 years and made attendance for the full school term mandatory, a move that would keep more migrant children out of the fields and in the classroom, was passed by the House more than three months ego but still languishes in the Senate. House Bill 203 and Senate Bill 176, duplicate legislation forbidding the issuance of work permits to children under the age of 14, has not yet received a vote in the House nor even a committee hearing in the Senate. Senate Bill 396, giving the State Department of Health authority to supervise housing for the health and safety of the migrants, was patched up with so many amendments and delayed so long that its sponsor, Sen. Abraham Kazen, said he may just wait for a fresh and stronger beginning next session. Col. Egon R. Tausch, executive director of the migrant labor council, said he could not understand what had happened. “Most of these bills received such favorable reception in committee,” he said. “But then … then, well, that’s the last you heard of them. It was fantastic. They just sort of disappeared.” TILE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 2 May 27, 1961 tax burden directly on the people of Texas and none of it on the interstate corporations. The TMA lobbyist is being unfair to the 33,000 Texas corporations, some of them his own members, of smaller capital than his foreign and interstate companies. The Senate version, which Mr. Burris supports, would put a 22 per cent surtax on all corporations, including the 33,000 domestic companies for two years. My proposal, which passed the House, would not increase the tax at all on wholly domestic companies but would make the 7,000 interstate and foreign companies pay on a two-factor formula which would put them more in line with what domestic companies are now paying. “If wholly domestic Texas corporations come out of this fight in worse shape than the foreign and interstate corporations, it can be laid at the doorstep of Ed Burris, the Texas Manufacturers Association, and other highly paid lobbyists who are here looking out for the big out-of-state companies while the domestic corporations get soaked. “Burris says in his letter that the Governor will try ‘to force’ the Conference Committee to accept ‘escheat tax amendments.’ What does he mean? He should know that the escheat enforcement bill is not a tax. It would simply bring in the money now due the State under present law, but held by banks, pipeline companies, and the like. Is the manufacturers’ group against this, too? Pipeline companies belong to his organization but they have never joined the banks in opposing this bill in the past. “The whole Burris letter to the businessmen of Texas is just another lobbyist attempt to scare business people into thinking he and his organization are their only salvation and should be continued and paid accordingly. “Actually, the business community would fare a lot better if they sent people to Austin who would stay with the facts and realize that business should be willing to pay a fair share of any permanent tax program, as so many of our outstanding business leaders have agreed.” Text of the Burris lettergram: TAX BILL AT DANGER POINT H. B. 334 as passed by the Senate was rejected by the House of Representatives and forced into a Conference Committee. The House was urged by the Governor to reject the Senate version because he, the Governor, wants to put more taxes directly on business. He used the threat of veto to force the House action. He will probably try to force the Conference Committee to: Adopt two-way franchise tax formula, which would produce for the biennium about $16 million. Accept additional taxes on natural gas, of not less than $15 million. Accept escheat tax amendments, $20 million. And maybe gift taxes, of $4 to 8 million. There is also pending a corporation income tax of 41/2 per cent that could be injected, $50 million. These are just possibilitiesbut, remember: The Governor urged the House to reject the Senate version because there were not enough taxes levied directly against business . . . so the only purpose of the Conference Committee was to bring this about. The Governor seemingly wants to write his version of the tax bill so remember his proposals on this subject .. . Revenge On Murray For Letter AUSTIN The Texas Senate, which is hard-shell in many matters but extremely thin-skinned to criticism, has apparently killed the rehabilitation bill which passed the House with only one dissenting vote. And why did the Senate kill HB 682? Apparently because young Rep. Murray Watson Jr., Mart, was so injudicious as to criticise that august body on the other side of the Capitol rotunda. In his May 11 “Legislative Newsletter,” distributed widely by Watson in his home district, he said duty impelled him to “spotlight the sorry scenes now being staged in the Texas Senate.” He bemoaned that “filibusters and threats of filibusters have marred the dignity one would expect in the distinguished chamber of the Texas Senate”and thus, in one fell swipe, he dealt a slap in the face to Sens. Henry Gonzalez, who made a brief filibuster and threatened a longer one against the sales tax bill, Abraham Kazen, who aided Gonzalez, Jep Fuller, who filibustered the redistricting bill, and Hubert Hudson, Wardlow Lane, and Bill Moore, all of whom were deep-chested talkers against the University of Houston bill. It also must have offended Sen. Charles Herring, for he filibustered against changing the name of North Texas State Teachers College to University of North Texas. That was a good start, having netted nearly one-fourth of the Senate on the one point, but Watson also had a couple of blanket condemnations handy, such as: “It has become apparent to many that the Senate has no intention of passing legislation regulating the loan sharks, as we in the House did.” The senator for Watson’s district is Jarrard Secrest, who, as a former agent for the FBI, knows something about counter-espionage, and when he found out what’ Watson’s newsletter said, Secrest went to work in his own fashion running off copies of the newsletter, with some of the more inflamatory passages underlined, and placing a copy on the desk of each Senator. Asked why he did it, Secrest smiled: “Well, my district was the only district Murray was circulating his letter in, and I thought some of the other senators might like to see it.” His smile became broader, “I thought they might even like to circulate it.” The effect was immediate. Sen. Crawford Martin said, “Yes, they got a little warm about it. I heard a number grumbling.” The word was going round that Lt. ‘Gov. Ben Ramsey, also offended by Watson’s message to the homefolks, had decided simply not to let his rehabilitation bill be brought up for a vote, but Ramsey denied that he had any such plans. At this writing, though, the bill still hadn’t come out from cover, and only two days remain in the session. HB 682 would have set up a Texas Rehabilitation Agency with the objective of providing medical care, training in occupations, workshops for tutoring in the use of artificial arms and legs, and all the rest of the routine that goes into reconditioning an injured worker. B.S. out to do your horse-trading, you give him some authority and you back him up. “What have we got, a bunch of bears over there in the Senate, who we keep sending kids and they keep chewing ’em up?” Nugent asked. It Nvas mostly hard-core conservatives who rallied behind Townsend’s motion, which failed, 88-51. Then James came forward with the Daniel and Turman-backed compromise, containing the Pennsylvania-type sales tax and twofactor franchise tax. “The burden is on us to come up with some solution to prevent a special session,” he said. The plan was “the best means of avoiding the impasse.” But there was no enthusiasm in the chamber for the compromise propoSal. Liberals, working the floor throughout the debate, opposed it because they did not think the two-factor franchise tax constituted a reasonable compromise. Conservatives did not like it because of the deductible features in the sales tax and because of the franchise tax. Franklin Spears, San Antonio liberal, was ready with an amend By mustering 51 votes against a motion to suspend the rules and bring up the measure for final passage, the House this week killed for the session Rep. Lloyd Martin’s bill outlawing sit-ins. The vote fell far short of the needed two-thirds. It was late into the afternoon Tuesday when Martin rose to the front microphone to seek the suspension. His bill had been tentatively approved, 93-44, the previous week. Martin, reiterating the theme of the bill’s proponents, briefly stated that the measure was “designed to offer some protection to property rights in Texas.” Since it was a crowded suspension day late in the session, Speaker Turman had limited debate to several minutes, and Rep. Charles Whitfield of Houston delivered the only major ‘broadside against the bill. “We’ve waited until the last five or six days of this session without going off and acting like the legislature of Louisiana and Alabama,” Whitfield said. “We’ve almost made it. Let’s keep this bill off the record and off our conscience. “When I look out across this floor,” he said, “I notice there’s not a single one of you who at one time or other hasn’t been a member of some minority group Irishmen, Swedes, Krauts, right down the line, it hasn’t been many years since each of us was a minority group in this country. Why, I can tell you Irishmen what it was like for your forefathers back in Boston. ment embodying the Eckhardt natural gas tax, but when it became apparent that the resolution was doomed, it was not offered. Sensing the almost total lack of enthusiasm for the compromise resolution, James went into a huddle with Speaker Turman. He then announced he would withdraw the measure. The Senate version of 334 remains over the weekend with the conference committee, but there is little likelihood of agreement. That would mean that, in the waning hours of the regular session, the House would have one more chance to concur with the Senate bill. If it did, Daniel’s veto would likely be in the offing. In the event of a special session, conservatives are hoping that a sales tax could be passed again in the House and sent to the Senate for certain approval. This, they feel, would put the pressure on the governor to let the tax bill become law without his signature. Anti-sales taxers hope to form an effective coalition during the interim, and to rally behind Daniel’s appeals to the people for a compromise measure with some degree of business taxation. W.M. Published once a week from Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $5 per annum. Advertising rates available on request. Extra copies 15c each. Quantity prices available on order. EDITORIAL and BUSINESS OFFICE: 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas. Phone GReenwood 7-0746. HOUSTON OFFICE: Mrs. R D, Randolph, 419% Lovett Blvd., Houston 6, Texas. Published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd. Entered as second-class matter, April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. MAY 27, 1961 Willie Morris Editor and General Manager Bob Sherrill, Associate Editor Sarah Payne, Office Manager Ronnie Bugger, Contributing Editor Sit-In Measure Stalled in House “The melting pot has been melting for years,” Whitfield said. “We’re now going through the last hurdle when men will be treated with dignity.” Rep. David Read, Big Spring, took the back microphone to complain, “We’re not setting out a particular race in this bill.” It was a measure to protect property owners against disorder, he said. Whitfield argued that there are provisions in the present penal code adequate to protect property rights. “The racial overtones of this bill are quite obvious,” he said. “Let’s don’t put ourselves in a ridiculous situation like Louisiana,” he concluded. The House board flashed 8751, 14 votes short of the necessary two-thirds. The bill would have made it illegal for a person to stay in a
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