Connallius Caesar Takes the Stand Dallas The editor attended “Political Paranoia III,” the political musical comedy staged by the North Dallas Democratic Women, Saturday night in Dallas. Watch the Observer for a full report, including “King Lyndon I,” starring Lyndonius “This Land is My Land” Johnsonius, and “Caesar’sCircus,” starring Connallius Caesar, his court, and a starving school teacher who wanders by in rags, begging cup in hand. However, we cannot, because of its topicality, defer recording “Jolly John’s Legislative Quiz,” with which the Democratic ladies closed their skit on “Caesar’s Circus.” Connallius Caesar takes the stand, and a voice offstage questions him, to wit: Lady: Governor, as President of the League of Women Questioners of the State of Texas, I want to know the answers to a few questions. There are many poor families in Texas. How do you plan to alleviate this problem? Governor: The society ladies of Texas do a marvelous job on holidays by giving poor families baskets of grapefruit and broken tricycles. . . . Lady: This is a basic question in economics. If a boy in Texas makes a dollar and 25 cents an hour and he works two hours, how much does he make? Governor \(After a long pause, durHe makes too much. Certainly more than his mother and father. A dollar and 25 cents would ruin the economy of the state of Texas! Lady: Governor, the public school teachers are grossly underpaid. What do you say about that? Governor: That depends on whether I’m running for office, or have already been elected. Lady: What do you feel the length of the governor’s term should be? Governor: As long as I am governor, oh, I’d say maybe ten or maybe 15 years or so. Lady: Our colleges are 45th in the nation. What do you intend to do about it? Governor: Why, I think I can solve the problem by appointing a superboard, maybe with a supersuper committee to watch the superboard. Lady: Thank you, governor. any intelligent direction of state affairs” by the governor, he said. Why, he was asked, would more work for his staff interfere with his running for office every two years? He spoke of his spending “several hours a week” on the poverty program alone. “This state government is becoming extremely large, extremely complex.” Pretty soon we may have to have “annual, sessions of the legislature as a permanent thing,” he said. The governor’s comments on federal aid to education could not be construed as anything but his acceptance of those programs; his approval of them. He spoke of the elementary and secondary act of 1965 enabling expansion of the Texas Education Agency staff by one-third; he said that the $85 million the state gets under the act will let us take “a good hard look” at pre-college education and perhaps decide that many persons ought not get higher degrees but rather to qualify for jobs. Did he still think some of the federal money could be used for teachers’ raises? “Oh, sure,” he said quickly; not for across-theboard raises, though, he said. Teachers could even be re-hired as counselors and paid more; “You can’t tell me you’re going -to pour $84 million a year into the public schools and it’s not gonna help them,” he said. But, he addedresponding to the charge of Sen. Ralph Yarborough that the federal aid is not designed to relieve states and localities of their duties “This program is designed not to relieve the state or local districts of any burdens. It is designed to be used to upgrade education.” In Shrimp, Fruit Work Austin Texas law requires the payment of time and a half for overtime to women when they work more than nine hours in a week during which they work more than 40 hours. Federal law provides a 14-week exception for seasonal women workers; for instance, shrimp pickers and women workers in fruit packing sheds. In this respect, then, Texas labor law is more liberal than federal labor law, and Rep. Menton Murray, Harlingen, wants to change the state law. Murray’s bill to “bring Texas in line with fecleral law” by introducing the 14week overtime exception for women workers in Texas shrimp and fruit sheds is justified, Murray said, because “there are occasions when you need to work for long periods of time to handle perishable products.” Rep. Bob Eckhardt, Houston, said the women who work in the shrimp and fruit sheds have no overtime protection except under state law. “All you’re doing is taking something away from ’em,” he challenged Murray. “The states all along the Gulf Coast have this,” Murray said. “The state of Texas doesn’t have it, so the producers in Texas do not have the advantages their competitors have all along the Gulf coast.” “How about those people pickin’ shrimp you’re giving them a little less than they get,” Eckhardt said. Texas law, Eckhardt contended, is generally unfriendly to workers, but “Here we find one instance in which state law is more humane, more sensitive, and aids the little man. . . . Now it seems to me that the legislature is mighty small if it enters here and takes the slight advantage away from very poor people, women, who are working very hard. It would certainly be shabby. . . .” Rep. Bill Rapp, Raymondville, said the women workers affected want the bill because “They’re tickled to death to get this work. They want this work.” They get $1.25 an hour, more than they could make otherwise, he said. “The people want this bill. It’s not merely an employers bill,” he said. The House passed Murray’s bill to final “reading, 96-41. The same bill passed the House two years ago but died in the Senate. Voting against it in the House this year were Alaniz, Bass, Bernal, Birkner, Bonilla, Brooks, Cherry, Crain, Eckhardt, Fletcher, Gates, Green, Guffey, Haring, Harris, Haynes, Isaacks, Johnson of Houston, Kilpatrick, Kothmann, Lack, Lee, Ligarde, Longoria, Mcllhany, Markgraf, Miller of Burkeville, Montoya, Muniz, Nugent, Parker, Richardson, Roberts, Smith, Stewart, Stroud, Vale, Weldon, Whitfield, Wilson, and Woods. Not recorded pro or con were Berry, Caldwell, Canales, Carpenter, Clayton, Hallmark, Hinson, Johnson of San Antonio, Mutscher, Sherman, Wayne, Wieting, and Speaker Barnes. All other members voted to pass the bill. House Nixes Women’s Overtime T ONE POINT a reporter asked Connally incredulously if it was true that the state’s part of administering the war on poverty was going to cost $250,000 more than originally planned. Yes, he said. “Governor, do you think there’s any danger we’ll bankrupt the state fighting poverty?” another reporter asked. “No, I wouldn’t say that. There are many facets of this poverty program that are excellent programs.” That clearly implied some of its facets aren’t: a third reporter asked which ones those would be. The governor smiled and went on, as though the question hadn’t been asked. He had seen, he said, a story that our state’s per capita income is losing ground vis-a-vis that of other states and that this is because we have large Negro and Latin-American groups. Perhaps he had seen a story in the Dallas News the morning before reporting that per capita personal income in Texas in 1964 was $2,175, which was $375 below the national average and 33rd among the states. The News story said the low Texas income av erage can be attributed generally to the large numbers of Negroes and Latin-Americans “who have low pay scales.” “What we’re going to do,” Governor Connally told the reporters, “is give ’em education. Once they get that they’re going to be in a position to become productive taxpaying citizens of this state.” That, said the governor, would be “a good investment.” R.D.
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