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3roth, SO 112 e SeriouJ Matteri Reneath the Beneath the froth being churned up in the quest for morality, the legislature is coming ’round, now, to some of the more serious matters before it. Oh, we don’t mean to be too patronizing of LSD regulations, loyalty oaths or variants thereof, establishing dress and grooming standards for students, nor even an occasional investigation of the Students for a Democratic Society. Hopefully no harm will come of these matters \( though harm is measures will ease a little tension on the right. But let’s do hope that the LSD bill will make provision for legitimate research. The other proposals should be given lots of press play for the folks back homeand then dropped. If the legislators are really concerned about sin and impropriety, let them begin on that campus which interrupts Congress Avenue between 11th and 14th Streets in Austin by passing a meaningful code of ethics for themselves and a more toothy lobby control bill, for just two examples. The minor league sinners at the University of Texas and on other campuses around the state will still be with us after Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorported the State Week and Austin ForumAdvocate. We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find, it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth, to human values above all interests, to the rights of man as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Editor, Greg Olds. Farther, Mrs. R. D. Randolph. Editor-at-large, Ronnie Dugger. Business Manager, Sarah Payne. Associate Manager, C. R. Olofson. Staff Artist, Charles Erickson. Contributing Editors, Elroy Bode, Winston Bode, Bill Brammer, Larry Goodwyn, Harris Green, Dave Hickey, Franklin Jones, Lyman Jones, Larry L. King, Georgia Earnest Klipple, Al Melinger, Robert L. Montgomery, Willie Morris, James Presley, Charles Ramsdell, Roger Shattuck, Robert Sherrill, Dan Strawn, Tom Sutherland, Charles Alan Wright. Contributing Photographer, Russell Lee. The Observer publishes articles, essays, and creative work of the shorter forms having to do in various ways with this area. The pay depends; at present it is token. Unsolicited manuscripts must be accompanied by return postage. The editor has exclusive control over the editorial policies and contents of the Observer. things are set right at the Capitol Building. BUT TO MORE pressing matters. Perhaps the major challenge the people face this session is the finagling around that is occuring with the state election laws. If the Creighton-Fondren bills are passed in their present form, Texas will probably be uncontested in having the nation’s most winding, obstacles-strewn path to the ballot box. The liberals and moderates in the legislature must pull themselves together to oppose these bills, to knock out many proposed features, to revise others. The Observer will, in a future issue, detail the make-up of the proposed election code. Environment is becoming an increasingly desperate issue. Pollution, the automobile, urban blight, keeping commercial needs within bounds, retaining what natural beauty we canall these and other problems are more widely recognized today as most pressing. The pollution debate in the legislature at times obscures what the basic issues are. There None of the other people who are associated with the enterprise shares this responsibility with him. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them the editor does not necessarily imply that he agrees with them, because this is a journal of free voices. Subscription Representatives: Arlington, George N. Green, 300 E. South College St., CR 70080; Austin, Mrs. Helen C. Spear, 2615 Pecos, HO 5-1805; Corpus Christi, Penny Dudley, 1224% Second St., TU 4-1460; Dallas, Mrs. Cordye Hall, 5835 Ellsworth, TA 1-1205; Denton, Fred Lusk, Box 8134 NTS, 387-3119; Ft. Worth, Dolores Jacobsen, 3025 Greene Ave., WA 4-9655; Houston, Mrs. Shirley Jay, 10306 Cliffwood Dr., PA 3-8682; Lubbock, Doris Blaisdell, 2515 24th St., Midland, Eva Dennis, 4306 Douglas, OX 42825; Snyder, Enid Turner, 1706 Glenwood, EM 6-2269; San Antonio, Mrs. Mae B. Tuggle, 531 Elmhurst, TA 6-3583; Cambridge, Mass., Victor Emanuel. Adams House C112. The Observer is published by Texas Observer Co., Ltd.. biweekly from Austin, Texas. Entered as second -class matter April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Second class postage paid at Austin, Texas. Delivered postage prepaid $6.00 a year; two years, $11.00; three years, $15.00. Foreign rates on request. Single copies 25c; prices for ten or more for students, or bulk orders, on request. Editorial and Business Offices: The Texas Observer, 594 West 24th St., Austin, Texas 78705. Telephone GR 7-0746. Change of Address: Please give old and new address and allow three weeks. is good cause to doubt the state agencies that are to control water and air pollution are really very serious; this conclusion is impelled by the proposed practice, in Texas, of setting standards at the state level and having these prevail over those of localities where restrictions are tougher. In many other states local standards must meet a minimum requirement but are permitted to be more stringent. This question is the basic issue being debated in air control this session. The minimum wage, industrial safety, and implementation of Medicaid are all susceptible of being treated symbolically and not meaningfully; that is, bills touching on each question can, and may well be passed. But who will be exempted from receiving a minimum wage and how much would the minimum be? Will the industrial safety law have realistic enforcement provisions? What will be the maximum family income for Medicaid eligibility? At present the legislature is proposing that only those families which earn no more than $1,700 annually be eligible for treatment under Medicaid; that leaves a lot of impoverished people who will not be covered in Texas. ANOTHER MAJOR challenge before the 60th legislature is the matter of new state taxes. There is some indica tion that the sales tax might be hiked to 3%. One of the few consolations in Gov. John Connally running for a fourth term in 1968, as now appears likely, is that the governor may feel that an increase in the state sales taxplus the fourth term er registrationwould be too formidable a burden for him to carry next year. But there are alternatives to a boost in the sales tax that are almost as badthe city sales tax, higher tuition \( hopefully dead parks, and such. At least one liberal, Rep. Glenn Vickery, Houston, has done considerable work on fiscal matters this term. He has some ideas which the legislature might well consider as politically palatable alternatives to more regressive taxes. For just one thing, Vickery proposes a constitutional amendment that would place a ceiling of 15% on the assessment percentage of the state ad valorem tax. This tax is now assessed at less than 15% of a property’s market value in some rural counties to as high as 40% in some urban counties. Vickery’s plan provides that the amount collected on assessments of more than 15% would be retained by each county. This is a progressive-tax alternative to the city sales tax. By itself it doesn’t yield what the city sales tax would. But there are other revenue-raising steps possible that wouldn’t place the burden unfairly. THE TEXAS OBSERVER @ Texas Observer Co., Ltd. 1967 A Journal of Free Voices A Window to the South 61st YEARESTABLISHED 1906 VoL 58, No. 29 7’46W March 17, 1967