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to close at 8 p.m. instead of 10 p.m. \(the argument is there are a lot of robberies stores in motels and hotels, however. The House also approved letting beer wholesalers sell ale and malt liquor like beer, and a Senate committee also went along with this after some pyrotechnics by Sen. Parkhouse protesting that Homer Leonard, the beer lobbyist, was sitting at the head of the committee table running things. Sen. Charles Herring, Austin, said Leonard was not running things. A bill to set minimum strength standards for brick used in construction has won Senate committee approval. Sen. Abraham Kezen, Laredo, charges that it is designed to hamper use of Mexican brick in the state. The governor has signed a bill, watered down frorri its original requirement that retailers post signs if they sell imported meat; the law requires that imported meat itself be labeled as imported. The House has advanced a measure by Rep. Dick Cory, Victoria, to deny aliens \(includto fish or shrimp within Texas territorial waters. Rep. Menton Murray’s bill to deny women working in seasonal interstate industries \(specifically in citrus and vegehour a week has not yet been advanced from committee. The bill’s rationale is that federal law permits an exception from overtime requirements for such women. The Senate gave final approval to a plan to have the state float $200 million in bonds and make from them loans up to $1 million to private investors. The loans could go to existing industries or industries moving into an area. Sen. Martin Dies, Lufkin, says the scheme is designed to get new business into little-town areas. Sen. Hardeman said it is not good public policy for the state to make loans to industries that can’t finance themselves. The underlying theory ‘ of the bill is based on the exemption of state bond interest from federal income tax, but the Houston Post reports from Washington that this exemption may now be under reconsideration. Governor’s Bills The legislature has enacted, effective Sept. 1, the governor’s mental health and mental retardation act. This declares public policy to encourage local agencies and private organizations to assume responsibility for mental health and retardation service and authorizes local subdivisions to cooperate to establish community centers for this purpose. All powers, duties, and functions relating to the mentally ill and mentally retarded, including exclusive management and control of 17 state hospitals and special schools, is transferred to a newly-created Texas Department of Mental Health and Retardation with a nine-member board Connally will appoint. Both houses have passed and the governor has signed a tuberculosis control act transferring TB programs from the hospital board to the health department. A $22.3-million, six-year anti-TB state program is to be centered in South Texas and is to include casefinding, follow-up care, local contract care, and TB tests for preschool children, teachers, and migrant workers. The House, on a local and uncontested calendar, approved, and a Senate committee has ruled favorably on Connally’s new 18-member commission on fine arts in Texas. The board is supposed to coordinate the activities of the arts in Texas, promote the financing of new theaters, museums, and studios, and advise, when asked, in the planning of state buildings. Rep. Jake Johnson, the House sponsor, says this commission is “just the beginning of state participation in the field of fine arts.” The Senate approved another Connally program, reorganization of the water program, to the extent that it passed Sen. Parkhouse’s bill to abolish the Texas Water bnsn. and reconstitute it as the Water Rights Cmsn. The House has advanced the coalescing of the Texas Council of Migrant Labor into the Good Neighbor Cmsn. The legislature has also, of course, passed Connally’s bill coordinating higher education, the oilfield pooling bill, and other Connallyadvocated programs reviewed elsewhere in this issue. The Poll Tax The House this week, on the third run, agreed to have the people vote on abolition of the state poll tax in 1966. In his two earlier tries, sponsor Travis Peeler of Corpus Christi got first 92, then 96 votes. A hundred are required. Peeler bargained with House members who wanted the poll tax permanently replaced with an annual, not a permanent, voter registration system. As passed by the House Tuesday the poll tax repealer. contains provision for an annual registration system drawn up by Rep. Gene Fondren of Taylor. Rep. Carl Parker, Port Arthur, excoriated the annual registration requirement, advocating instead a permanent system, but Peeler promised to work to keep the annual requirement, and the repealer was approved with 113 aye votes. Sen. Franklin Spears’ free permanent registration systemto let anyone register up to within 30 days of votinghas been approved by a Senate committee, while an annual system has been in subcommittee. The East Texas bloc, led by Reps. Billy Williamson, Tyler, and Bill Hollowell, Grand Saline, opposed poll tax repeal. \(A Belden Poll published March 14 said Texans oppose abolishing the poll Conservation, Parks Use of oyster shell in highway construction and dredging it in Copano Bay would be outlawed in separate bills sponsored by Rep. Paul Haring, Goliad. Conservationists testified for and shell dredgers against them at hearings in the Capitol; but they are both resting with probably hostile subcommittees. So is a bill by Rep. Eckhardt proposing to replace the present Parks & Wildlife Cmsn. with a Texas Conservation Cmsn. A bill passed by the legislature designates the Parks & Wildlife Cmsn. to cooperate with the federal government in the administration of a land and water conservation act passed by Congress in 1965. This will enable Texas to get $5.5 million a year federal aid. When the commission recently closed state-owned river beds in Uvalde, Dimmit, and Zavala counties to keep the public out of them, some sports writers protested. Rep. John Alaniz, San Antonio, is sponsoring a bill to declare that the commission has no such authority. Cecil Reed of the Sportsmen’s Clubs of Texas testified for the bill. A Texas House committee endorsed creation of a national park in the Guadalupe Mountains. Sen. D. Roy Harrington, Port Arthur, proposes a special committee to study making a Big Thicket state park. A group from the Thicket recently made a strong pitch to Gov. Connally for such a park; he said he hoped something can be done in the not-too-distant future. Other Bills Offered The legislature has also passed, since our last roundup of its activities, a bill relieving landowners of liability when they let sportsmen on their land without charge and another one protecting physicians who report the mistreatment of childreriagainst liability for so doing. The House has approved having the people vote on letting single persons claim the homestead exemption and letting persons 19 and 20 vote. The House has passed bills to give the Dept. of Public Safety authority to require drivers to take additional tests; to liberalize the terms by which disabled persons can get state aid; to outlaw professional “debt pooling” operators; to give the governor his office of state-federal liaison, understood to be for the purpose of lobbying in Washington; to let game wardens enforce state laws against shooting from highways; to require runoffs in special state Senate and House elections; to provide for the involuntary retirement of judges who are in effect incapacitated; to require persons over 60 to register to vote everywhere annually; and to prohibit dual contracting, that is, lying on home contracts to get -more advantageous loans. The Senate has passed bills to create a new kind of homicide, murder by arson; to make extensive revisions in the criminal code, many of them in light of recent Supreme Court decisions on the rights of the accused; to license lie test operators; to license professional sanitarians; to increase from $300 to $5,000 parents’ liability for their children’s destructive activities; to replace the governor on the school land board with an appointee of the governor. The Senate proposes to have the people vote on raising the water development board loan fund to $400 million ; to authorize creation of regional airport authorities, but Dallas is excluded therefrom; and to allow the Veterans’ Land Board to issue another $200 million in bonds for the veterans’ land program. Sen. Bill Patman, Ganado, has been crusading to win passage of the House-passed measure to create a “Little Hoover Corn April 30, 1965 7