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Busy Days Ahead for the Legislature i/ What lies ahead for the newly-elected legislature? These issues have been mentioned by various sources, official and otherwise: an industrial safety code, cutting the cities in on the sales tax, more state tax revenue, traffic safety, auto insurance rates, higher salaries for state employees, revision of the criminal code, increased support for education, teachers’ pay raise, higher tuition at state colleges, expanded programs for the mentally ill and retarded, improving and adding to the state park system, constitutional revision, creation of a state agency to coordinate urban programs, elimination of overlapping by local governmental jurisdictions, revision of voting laws \( possibly including consideration of either ancontrol, consumer loan law revision, clarified community property laws, state bonds for industrial expansion, branch banking in the four largest cities, and parimutuel betting. V Gov. John Connally says that constitutional revision will be tops on his agenda. V Finding more money to run the state’s growing budget will be a key problem. Budget requests total $1.4 billion over the amount allotted for the current two-year period, and about $500 million above expected revenues for the coming biennium. However, the state is growing and its revenues are increasing at present tax rates. It appears now that the governor will not seek a sales tax increase, though earlier this fall it had appeared sure that he would. House Speaker Ben Barnes believes that a major’ tax increase may be avoided; if not, however, Barnes guesses that a sales tax hike would be the most likely. The state will finish this .rear with a surplus. Barnes notes that no major tax increase has occurred since 1961, when the sales tax first became effective. V Helping the cities out of their multi plying perplexities seems to be an other high priority, particularly, say Texas leaders, if we are not to witness more federal influence in the state. Pro posals under consideration include direct state aid to cities and legislation permit ting cities to impose sales taxes. The mayors of Austin and El Paso have urged a municipal sales tax. However, some of the other mayors seem to be backing off a little from the city sales tax. Nineteen of them met with Connally several weeks back. The governor afterwards publicly promised to ask the legislature to raise substantial new revenues for the cities. Mayor W. W. McAllister, San Antonio, who 6 The Texas Observer previously had spoken out for a city sales tax, has reconsidered: it wouldn’t be fair to San Antonio merchants, he indicated, if San Antonio passed one and surrounding cities didn’t. V A Texas Research League report has suggested letting the state’s 22 metropolitan counties take over many municipal functions by setting up a county-manager form of government and imposing higher taxes. This sounds like metro government to some local officials and the end of some county and municipal jobs. James W. McGrew, league research director, says the proposed reorganization would only permit counties to provide some new area-wide services, such as health, welfare, hospitals, parks, libraries, airports, planning, transit, refuse disposal, and flood control. Other services, such as police, fire, streets, and recreation, aren’t involved, McGrew says. It is believed the governor backs the league’s proposal. News of Education The State Board of Education will present a 16-point proposal to the legislature, including some drastic changes in school operations: beginning children viding thirteen years of formal public school training instead of twelve; lengthening the school day from six to seven hours and the school year from nine to ten months. V A teacher tenure bill will be proposed by the Texas Classroom Teachers Association, providing for dismissal of teachers only on the basis of “conduct deemed detrimental to the student.” “Teachers are being dismissed every year for reasons that may or may not have borne on their professional competence,” believes Mrs. Kathryn Townsend of Victoria, T.C.T.A. legislative chairman. Another teachers’ group, the Texas State Teachers Association, will seek another salary increase, ranging from $61 to $100 monthly. Connally says that he hasn’t yet decided what to recommend to the legislature about the teachers’ pay raise request. The first shoe has been dropped to signal a recommendation to the legis lature that state-supported colleges raise their tuitions. The other shoe is expected to hit the floor Dec. 12 at a special meet ing of the Coordinating Board, Texas Col lege and University System. Last month the board was presented a staff report in which the case for a tuition raise is strongly set forth. But a committee of the board didn’t have enough time to make its recommendations, thus the meeting in December. Dr. J. K. Williams, who be came the state commissioner of higher education Aug. 1, has frequently urged higher tuitions. Board member J. C. Looney of Edinburg referring to the matter as “this rather troublesome problem,” has acknowledged that the staff report does indicate the desirability of upping tuitions. Tuitions probably will be doubled, either by charging $7 or $7.50 per semester hour, or by raising the present $50 rate to $100. V The executive director of the 6,000 member Houston Teachers Association has urged teachers to hold a one-day walkout if the school board fails to call for a tax increase election by March to raise salaries. “It is our .. . duty to be militant if the children are being hurt,” said Joe Fisher. V The State Board of Education has up held Commissioner J. W. Edgar’s ruling last spring that school districts may not charge supply fees nor withhold report cards and transcripts from pupils who fail to pay such fees. The matter arose in Rio Hondo, though some other school districts are believed to engage in such practices. V Texas is progressing well in school desegregation, said Dr. James E. Turman, former speaker of the state’s House of Representatives, while visiting in Houston. He said he doubted that the U.S. Office of Education would ever set up a “national curriculum.” There will be national goals, but federal money for education is administered by the states, Turman pointed out. V Integration at Tyler is proceeding too slowly, the superintendent there has been advised by O.E. officials. At Hous ton, the local American Civil Liberties Union chapter is asking help from the Justice Department to speed school inte gration, specifically to transfer a Negro student into a ninth grade class with white children. The ninth grade is the last grade that remains segregated in Houston. The Colleges Some 2,000 Prairie View A&M College students held a rally to protest condi tions there. A list of 57 grievances was read, charging such as: inadequate food in the dining hall, strict curfews for women, lack of vocational and social ac tivities, $1 hourly wage, for students on campus jobs, and the inability to voice their opinions without being sent home. Also, the students asked, “Who is the president of Prairie View?” Dr. Jesse Drew became ill Sept. 2, the day after he took office. Another official has been designated as acting president. Student demonstrations were opposed in principle by the University of Houston president,