Crump: “No, we’re not concerned with that.” Nugent: “What do you mean, not concerned with that? It’s part of SJR 44!” Crump: “. . . No one wants these tenure propositions now. . . . Any other thing in here and you’re messing with redistrict . ing.” Rep. W. S. Heatly, the appropriations chairman in the House from Paducah: “The Senate is the one who sent this over, with 27 on record for it, so apparently this is redistricting.” The powerful Sen. Dorsey Hardeman, San Angelo: “I’m not going to vote for a six-year term for the Senate or a fouryear term for the House.” Sen. J. P. Word, Meridian: “Suppose we put a 170or 200-member House in here . . .” Three House members: “Who wants it?” Rep. Connally: “We don’t want a bigger House.” Sen. Word, thumping the table: “We do want 39 members.” Rep. Townsend: “You want what you want and you don’t want anyone else to say what they want.” Word: “Ben [Barnes] called me and said if you give us a six and a four we’ll clean up 39 for you. I said [Sen. Jack] Strong will draft it a second time. He called me back and I said you’ve asked me to change it three times this morning, you don’t even clean it up. You sent it to us with 39 and six and four.” Sen. Abraham Kazen, Laredo: “You know a 39-member Senate is the only way to protect rural representation.” Nugent: “I don’t think my people and their viewpoint in the House needs to be raped by representation in the Senate.” The conferees then wrangled over the House members’ desire to have their fouryear terms voted on in the same amendment with the 39-member Senate or separately. Kazen said it ,had become a questionof the legislators against the interests of the people. Heatly: “The Senate is the people who brought up terms, the Senate is the people who brought up staggering terms and perpetuation of offices, and the Senate is the one who passed enhancement of their positions. Then the House said the Senate is pretty smart; we’ll take up tenure, too. …” Townsend: “Let’s admit there has been bad communication.” Sen. Strong: “Let’s admit it’s not bad communication but blackmail.”. Crump said the Senate would not go for four-year House terms that day. Heatly said “I don’t think the House would go for 39 without four.” Stalemated, they left the table. In subsequent Senate discussion, Crump said the House had “a dagger at our backs,” and Strong used the word “extortion.” Atty. Gen. Carr wrote the legislators a letter. He said the August 2 redistricting deadline is a very real deadline, and he reminded them, “You are now making the facts which we must defend under attack.” Percents to Trucks to Bricks The legislature, in its last month, may authorize banks and savings and loan institutions to charge 17% interest$9 per $100 up to $1,500, plus 14%$7.50 per $100on the rest of a loan up to $5,000. A bill by Sen. J. P. Word, Meridian, was modified in the Senate to authorize these rates and passed this week. Sen. Jim Bates, Edinburg, earlier this month ran with his bill that originally authorized 17% interest on loans up to $15,000. Sen. Babe Schwartz, Galveston, persuaded Bates to reduce this “cap” to $6,500 and to exclude home loans. Sen. Jack Strong, Longview, who read from the Bible against usury during this earlier debate, said, “Perhaps I was wrong. I thought we would not sell out to the money lenders. . . . In two years, will it be a $20,000 ,cap and $11 add-on? And in 1969 will it be $30,000 they ask for, and agree on $17,000? Here we are increasing the cap by over 400%” over the $1,500 cap in ,the 1963 loan shark bill, Strong said. Sen. Martin Dies, Lufkin, said “We are No. 1 in one respecthigh interest rates.” Bates, upholding his bill, said he wants to leave interest rates to competition. It was explained that the 17% rate would apply to lenders who are not strong credit risks. Schwartz believes the maximum will become the standard charge. The 17% bill may get a stormy reception in the House. Don Garrison of Houston, chairman of the House banking committee, has already publicly berated a Fort Worth loan lobbyist and has spoken darkly of rumored legal fees. Meanwhile, his committee has not yet reported out the bill by Rep. Reed Quilliam, Lubbock, to halve, roughly, the interest rates Texas now permits small-small lenders. Rep. David Haines, Bryan, proposed the House pass a bill giving retail merchants 6 The Texas Observer the right to charge whatever interest and service charges they like. Quilliam proposed an 18% a year limit, and the House accepted the limit after refusing to reject it 96-39. Truckers are having their way with the legislature this session. It has passed \(and the legal length of two-trailer trucks from 50 to 65 feet, despite warnings these trucks will be safety haiards. The vote was 27-2 in the Senate and 116-22 in the House. The Senate authorized owners of single trucks to haul construction materials for hire without a license from the Railroad Cmsn.; the House added in trucks carrying grain, cattle, and lumber. Rep. Grainger Mcllhany, Wheeler, is pushing a bill to license an regulate commercial pesticide applicators through the commissioner of agriculture, advised by a nine-member commission appointed by the governor. Rep. Bob Eckhardt sought to amend the bill to reduce the commission’s two-thirds composition representing commercial applicators to one-third, but this amendment was not accepted in the House. The House has advanced ‘a bill to create an Air Control Board to prevent air pollution. The bill has been greatly amended since it was first introduced to reduce the power of the board to make and enforce rules and to limit kinds and degrees of pollution that it can regulate. Six of its nine members must agree before a rule can be made; Eckhardt objected that four of the nine will be industry people under the bill’s terms, but the House would not change this provision. “We are again following the doctrine of letting the fox guard the chicken coop,” Eckhardt said. Rep. Don Cavness, Austin, the sponsor, said that if the state did not pass the law, the federal government would occupy the field. ate a seven-man water well drillers’ board. Rep. John Allen said the bill menaces “the country boy water driller” _and legislates the little man out of business; Eckhardt tried to get the board’s power to examine drillers struck and failed. “I’m against this continued practice of setting up business boards that can exclude others wanting to get into the business,” Eckhardt said. At present the State Insurance Board is required by law to examine insurance companies -1,800 operate in Texasevery two years. The Senate has passed, 24-5, a bill to change this to every three years. Texas AFL-CIO Secretary Roy Evans charges that this change re-opens the door to insurance scandals of the kind that racked the state a decade ago. Insurance Commission Chairman Hunter McLean has been quoted that the change is “an industry bill, not a board bill.” Barbers are seeking, and won Senate passage of, a bill to tighten up regulations on barber colleges, especially to reduce the fees they can charge for haircuts to 12 cents. Sen. William Moore, Bryan, one of the bill’s sponsors, says the barber colleges ought to be more tightly regulated because they make their students work at slave wages. Sen. Franklin Spears, San Antonio, charges that the bill is designed to cause the colleges to double their tuition, thus hobbling their ability to train new barbers to compete with present barbers. Sen. George Parkhouse, Dallas, agrees, saying he’s heard barbers say the price of haircuts will be $2.50 after the bill passes. Charges by Spears that two members of the state board of barber examiners may have engaged in improper lobbying activities on behalf of this bill have been referred to the Department of Public Safety. The Texas Restaurant Assn.’s bill to permit the serving of little-bottle hard liquor with meals was killed in committee. However, the House has okayed the liquor stores’ desire to have the law require them
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