last Saturday, however, Smith did, but Spears lacked four votes of winning. The San Antonio senator then switched the necessary votes, and repeal was submitted to the voters once again. This time annually renewable voter registration would also be written into the state constitution. The much-debated House voter registration bill was killed in the Senate when Sen. Schwartz tagged it. Liberals rejoiced on grounds that the House bill provided a 25-cent “poll tax” in lieu of the $1.75 one, as well as annual registration. President Johnson is now reported supporting the Teddy Kennedy proposal for federal repeal of all poll taxes on voting, so the whole subject may become moot. In event of abolition, presumably either the legislature would meet to prescribe voting procedures or the U.S. attorney general would do it. A proposed constitutional amendment to give old age assistance to non-citizens who have lived in the U.S. for 25 years or more did not pass. Texas voters will be called upon to decide, on the dates specified, whether to: Sept. 7, 1965: Expand the State Senate to 39 members. Nov. 2, 1965: Issue $200 million in veterans’ land program bonds; raise the salaries of the lieutenant governor and Speaker of the House ance from $12 to $20 a day for the regular and one special session; establish an $85 million loan fund for college students; require state judges to retire at 75 and establish procedures to remove them for misconduct; have the state participate in medicare; exempt a charity hospital in Houston from state property taxes; extend the terms of statewide elected officials, including the goVernor, to four years; extend House members’ terms to four years; raise the state property tax five cents for college building; expand the teachers’ retirement system’s investments; let the state direct federal funds for the disabled to private groups. Nov. 8. 1966: Have legislators take office the January after they’re elected; repeal the state poll tax and provide for annual registration; extend the terms of conservation and reclamation district officials from two to six years; make it easierfor recently moved citizens to vote for state and federal officials; give state aid to the families of firemen and policemen killed on duty; let military personnel vote where they live; let voters disband hospital districts; let Harris County and Houston consolidate certain functions; assess farm land on regional airport authorities; establish a retirement system for counties and other political subdivisions; permit the transfer of water between river basins and issue $200 million in state water bonds; expand the state court of criminal appeals to five members; remove Arlington State College \(becoming a part of A&M permanent university fund. FOR THE SECOND session, the conflict of interest bill to prohibit legisla-. tors from introducing or causing to be introduced legislation directly affecting their clients or employers, to prohibit substantial conflicts of interest as defined, and making other such changes of law. For the second session, this measure died in the Senate. The bill for open meetings of public agencies passed the House but died in the Senate. A bill permitting highway contractors to lease dump trucks that have not been licensed by the Texas Railroad Cmsn. for the hauling of highway materials was Legislative photographs this issues were taken by the editor. 18 The Texas Observer amended in the House to include other large trucks being used in this work, and so it passed. Speed limits were raised for certain trucks. Trucks 65 feet long were authorized to use Texas highways; the limit until now has been 50 feet. The “water safety law” of Ben Atwell, Dallas, contained a proviso prohibiting divers from coming within 200 feet of boats, except for maintenance work. Don Brod, Scuba diving businessman in San Marcos, contends this wipes out his business, which Rep. Cory and Lt. Gov. Smith confer in the Senate. is catering to skin divers who go to San Marcos from all over to skin-dive in Spring lake. Spring lake is where Aquarena is, and Rep. Henry Fletcher, Luling, argues for the 200-foot rule on grounds that it protects Aquarena, ; and that Aquarena has a right to be protected, from skin divers. All concede that Spring lake is a public lake. The owner of Aquarena owns the dam that caused the lake to come into being. A law was passed permitting out-of-state corporations to own land in Texas. State insurance examinations of insurance companies, heretofore required every two years, are now required every three. “Double contracting”that is, falsifying contracts to get bigger mortgage loanswas illegalized. The Senate passed, after compounding, the bill to let legislators and former legislators of four years’ experience take the bar after two years’ “adequate study” in law school. The Senate amended it to let a legislator with four years’ experience take the bar without any study in law school if he has an MA degree. Talk among members was that this was a deal for Sen. Pete Snelson, Midland, who has an MA, in case he doesn’t want to run against Sen. Dorsey Hardeman, San Angelo. Rep. Eckhardt led usually but not always losing against bills creating licensing agencies made up mostly of people in the fields the agencies were to license. Water well drillers have a new licensing board made up of six drillers to be named by the governor, and Connally has signed a bill for registering professional sanitarians. The legislature also created ‘mechanisms for licensing commercial applicators of pesticides and brokers who arrange motor transportation of fresh fruits and vegetables. The lie detector operator licensing bill was revived and passed in the House and finally approved by the legislature. THE LEGISLATURE appropriated $4.5 million for HemisFair, the 1968 hemispheric fair, in San Antonio. A plane at $275,000 and operating expenses of $175,000 were provided the governor, with a prohibition against his using the plane for “solely political purposes.” Half a million dollars was appropriated for the biennium for educational television in the schools. Rep. DeWitt Hale, Corpus, had to make two runs to get his local option bill for media materials centers for the schools past Rep. Hollowell’s angry opposition to federal aid to education. What Rep. Wallace Miller, Houston, called “second class marriages,” those recognized at common law but not made formal ceremonially and at law, would have been outlawed by his bill, which the House passed but the Senate did not. Rep. Ronald Roberts, Hillsboro, wanted to authorize lawmen to arrest people they think had suicidal tendencies, but the House, fearful of letting lawmen arrest people on the basis of their opinions, gutted the bill. A new law \(by -ble to give an arsonist life for starting a fire if someone dies in it, whether the arsonist meant to kill anyone or not. Another law extends from $300 to $5,000 parents’ liability for damage done maliciously by their children aged 10 to 18. The legislature passed a bill raising penalties for shoplifting and letting store owners hold persons they suspect of it in custody and not be liable for damages. Rep. Whitfield introduced a bill to create a public defender in Harris County, but when the Houston Legal Foundation got Ford Foundation money to operate one, he dropped his bill. The legislature passed a bill permitting persons wrongly imprisoned and later pardoned to sue the state, designed specifically for the Vargas case in San Antonio. \(See “The Long Wait of AnVarious studies have been ordered or requested by the legislatureon women’s rights, teachers’ pay, juvenile crime, defendants’ and press rights in pre-trial publicity, lawyers for the poor, Texas election laws, professors’ fringe benefits, water pollution, care of the criminally insane, and facilities for delinquent, dependent, and neglected children. The women didn’t get their equal rights. Their constitutional amendment failed to get enough votes in the Senate, although Sen. Bill Moore, Bryan, tried and tried again. A bill passed the Senate changing some laws to give the women equal rights on specific points, but the deal fell through; the House never acted on it. A House committee passed Rep. Bob Bass’ bill to repeal the provision that gives a man the right to shoot his wife’s lover, but, said Bass, he never could get the bill on the House calendar. Civil rights bills failed to pass either chamber. The “little Hoover” commission was killed off in the Senate by Dorsey Hardeman of San Angelo’s various tactics, although sponsor Bill Patman, Ganado, had a majority for it. Also killed: hard liquor in tiny bottles with meals; lower the voting age to 19; non-Texas members of college boards; putting all counties under Parks and Wildlife; a new motion picture censorship bill; a Sunday closing law; a bill guaranteeing political rights for college teachers. R.D:
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