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textbook committee has continued to provide the public with contentious pyrotechnics, and its members are filing five separate reports to the legislature. Senator Culp Krueger, El Campo, has joined Roberts and Alaniz in their opinion that most critics of the state’s textbook selection process don’t know how it works. State Parks The 1963 legislature will be parksconscious, and little wonder: attendance at Texas state parks increased by half a million during fiscal 1962, to 7,099,672 persons, compared with 6,614,332 for the year before. Politicians with a weather eye on intensity of interest in the parks will have noted, too, the increase in overnight campers at the Texas parks from 398,419 during fiscal 1961 to 499,728 almost half a millionthis year. An AP poll of the legislators indicates that the Padre Island park will be approved readily with the necessary state enabling legislation: the members responding to the poll favored the Padre park 6-1. Gov. Price Daniel proposed this fall that the state establish a new park in the Big Thicket. Attending the first meeting of his advisory committee on the ideathey met at the Alabama-Coushatta Indian reservationDaniel broached a financing plan that would not draw off funds from other parks. Gov .-elect John Connally is reportedly unenthusiastic ; so is the state parks board. On the other hand, Connally and the board have hopes that the C. A. Wheatleys of San Antonio can be induced to reconsider their withdrawal of their gift of their ranch forty miles west of Austin for a new park there. The property was signed over to the state last July, conditioned on the legislature’s appropriation of $250,000: subsequently the Wheatleys made it clear that $600,000 would be needed for the park’s development, at least, and this is the sum the state parks board has asked of the legislature. However, at the end of November the Wheatleys announced the withdrawal of their offer with some resentment that they had not been told, at the time of their offer, the “pitiful* condition” of the existing state parks. Though the Wheatleys have been adamant that they have retracted their offer of the ranch, the fact remains, the conditional deed transferring it to the state exists. The state parks board this week decided not to return the deed to the Wheatleys, the chairman, Maurice Turner, saying present law seems to require that the land be declared unfit for a park before this could be done. Gov . Daniel’s farewell address this week included the appropriation for the Wheatley park required by the deed $250,000so the matter must be regarded as most unsettled. Connally’s commitment to high spending for the parks is already on record. After being told last week, by Texas Tech’s parks planner, Elo Urbanovsky, who is doing a study of state parks for the state, that between $400 and $500 million will be needed to rebuild and renew them, Connally commented that the half billion dollars could probably be recovered quickly through increased tourist trade. Political Laws Sen. Franklin Spears, San Antonio, has announced he will sponsor a bill to provide, in lieu of the poll tax, permanent voter registration without either a fee or a literacy test. Conservative Democrats, it has been rumored, may seek to change the basis on which a precinct’s strength in party conventions is decided. Delegate strength in a party convention now depends on the area’s total vote for the party’s candidate for governor at the last general election. New legislation might propose changing the basis to total poll tax payers. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that gross discrimination against city voters in legislative districting is unconstitutional will impel the legislature toward further reforms of the rurally weighted districting now in effect in Texas. Bexar County district attorney James Barlow has announced he plans a lawsuit to force just such changes. Dallas’ Republican delegation in the Texas House will support two congressmen for that city; Houston’s legislators will seek three for HaTris County. Rep. Whitfield proposes to do away with the constitutional provision that arbitrarily limits big cities’ and counties’ legislative representation. Changes proposed by the election law study committee, apart from voter registration [Obs., Dec. 13], include requiring absentee voters to vote in person; using the check, rather than the scratch-out method of voting; requiring runoffs in special elections for legislative seats; and re, quiring that political advertising be sold at regular commercial rates. Rep. Howard Green, Fort Worth, is pro ,, posing to move primaries from May to August. Other Issues Among other principal issues of the session will be loan shark reform; oil legislation to require small drillers to unitize their fields; water and air pollution control; revision of the lobby control law; legalization of liquor by the drink; local option horse racing for Bexar County \(“a little old local animal bill,” Rep. Red Berry for juvenile parole; a pre-release center to train. adult prisoners who are about to be paroled; a state home for dependent and neglected Negro children, who now have no such facility; closer check-ups on mothers of illegitimate children who receive aid for them; abolition of capital punishment ; and bills to lower the ages of criminal responsibility and increase criminal penalties for various offenses. In the latter connection, however, the State Bar of Texas has proposed significant changes in the criminal law. The lawyers’ association would have the judgenot the juryset a convicted person’s punishment on the theory that the judge has access to fuller information than a jury can be given. The Bar would also require law officials to take a person arrested for questioning before a magistrate and to charge him right then, and they would give an accused person the right to obtain information from a district attorney’s files. The Texas Manufacturers’ Assn. and the Texas A.F.L.-C.I.O. will square off over industrial safety and unemployment insurance. The T.M.A., in a political memo to members, takes uneasy note of Connally’s endorsement of industrial safety and warns against provisions restricting management. Hank Brown, the labor president, has just blasted the jobless comp average in Texas, $25.57 a week, \(or tally unrealistic; he also slammed the Texas Employment Cmsn. for disqualifying one-third of all applicants for this aid in 1962. T.M.A. is advocating reducing unemployment insurance for people getting social security or workman’s comp at the same time, for pregnant women, and for students in the summertime. R.D. January 10, 1963 7