$1.7 million the first year and $1.1 million the second year -all out of state appropriations, as contrasted to as much as $35 million that might he spent through a joint federal-state program. . . . I If the “old pattern” is not avoided I . . what passes for a medical care program will. in effect, amount to a ‘welfare dole.’ . . . The league’s study finds that a state administered, state-federal financed program based on the concept that each recipient is “entitled” to a certain amount of free medical care each month is the least desirable of all possible approaches to the problem of providing a medical care program for I Public Assistance I recipients. . . .” Among the “disadvantages” the league said a federal-state medical care program would have “It would discourage private programs in the field. . .. It would encourage an immediate and increasing ‘unnecessary demand for medical services.’ It would generate more and more pressures from other groups to receive ‘free’ medical care.” \(The legislature, activating part of the federal Kerr-Mills Act designed to head off medicare, has provided a Blue Cross health insurance policy for the 30 per cent of the aged people in Texas who are covered by old age assistance, the state program limited to those extremely needy persons The league proposed, in a report last June, a state law “creating a lien in favor of the state against the estates of all Public Assistance recipients, provided that estates with market value of less than $1,000 should be exempted.” This lien would apply to those receiving aid for the aged, disabled, and blind. In addition, the league proposed that the legislature require “responsible adults above a reasonable income level to contribute to the support of near relatives applying for and receiving public assistance. A reasonable income revel might -be $6,000 of net, taxable income as defined for federal income tax purposes.” Transmitting this report to the state welfare department, the league said: “It is predictable that each of the major proposals in this report will be strongly opposed by ‘more benefits to everybody’ vested interests.” These same “vested interests” were the dragon again as the league proposed that the constitutional ceiling on the state’s part of welfare spending be abolished. Reciting the voters’ approval of higher ceilings in several 8 The Texas Obserer votes on constitutional amendments, the league said, “Voters tend to vote emotionally on welfare issues without sufficient knowledge of the issues concerned.” Also, the league said, “most \(political candidates will feel compelled to ‘do something for the aged.’ ” The sufficient knowledge the league believes the people do not have is the league’s own contention that “By screening out all but the needy cases, and by the adoption of lien and recovery and relative responsibility laws, funds would he released to take care of the aged with the greatest demonstrable needs and for more effective rehabilitation services.” In another ostensibly objective, factual report, this one on children’s services of the Texas department of welfare, the league three years ago expressed values that very well might offend the the . “vested interests” of popular opinion on such questions. For instance: Lacking sound planning and direction. the programs I aid to dependent children and other child services of the welfare department] can only contribute to the worsening of conditions of dependency for the many children they serve with resulting soaring cost burdens to the state and its economy. The league’s central contention on welfare is generally accepted these Yea from a Tower The presiding business lobbyist in Texas, General Preston Weatherred of Adolphus Tower, Dallas, issues assays of the politics of state officials. In his current evaluation of these officials \(liberal, conservative, or inlong paragraphs, to praise the Texas Research League. He notes that it is “wholly financed from private sources” and “wholly non-governmental, wholly non-political, wholly non-partisan, and wholly objective.” He says the league’s tax work for the state tax study commission was outstanding, and the commission’s work “was the major contribution to the eventual formation of the state’s present tax structure” \(that is, the passleague-staffed commission’s present tax reports, Weatherred says beams. ingly, “will be of major influence in the formation of tax legislation during the 1963 session.” The lobbyist does not mention at all the work or the existence of the legislature’s own research agency, the Texas legislative council. days, that the government should spend the funds necessary to try to correct the basic social conditions in the lives of welfare recipients and return these people to self-sufficiency while also reducing welfare costs. The language -of the league’s reports. however, suggested that other values and purposes were at work in its thinking: If we do not I stress rehabilitation and reduce welfare rolls], the .future foretells an even increasing percentage of the Texas population dependent on welfare grants. No state, however wealthy, can afford such an impedirttent to its economic growth. . . . It is obvious that something must be wrong with the effectiveness of these !children’s aid programs], or such expansion would not have taken place I in the programs since 1942]. Among the league’s recommendations, there was one to raise the age limit for A.D.C. grants from 14 to in Texas and to let the grants to children be paid even if the children are working. “It is important that all children be encouraged to work as part of the learning process,” the league explained. “. . . the earning exemption would be in force only while the child remained in school . . it would encourage them [the children] to work on a part-time basis.” Granting that the A.D.C. payments in Texas were low$34 per month lower than the national average, providing, for instance, a total of $63 a month for a caretaker and two childrenthe league did not recommend whether they should be increased, saying: It is easy to look at these payments and say that the grants are not enough to maintain a decent standard of living. On the other hand, it is possible to take the schedule_ of payments, as low as it is, and show where all too many A.D.C. families never had an income as great and steady prior to their receiving A.D.C. assistance. Governor Daniel said later that he was advised the league’s study “has had a part in . . . a 20 per cent decrease in the case load of the aid to dependent children program.” The league’s project leader on the topic, Bob Mallas, was given as the source, in a league publication, for the fact that the number of children receiving such aid in Texas “plummeted from more than 105,000 in May, 1960, to fewer than 80,000 in October. The reduction will produce a net saving of approximately $5 million annually.” In other words, caretakers of 25,000 children in Texas who were previously classified as dependent and
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.