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and in bad repair. Often devices for the handicapped among the inmates are crudely made of wood by someone at the school. Parents or other family members must buy clothing for the patients; otherwise, clothes, of unattractive; coarse design, are provided by the state. There is no dressing area in the buildings; inmates dress by their beds, storing their clothes in cubby holes. “It’s amazing how much can be put into those little spaces,” Vickery says. Medical check-ups are not regularly administered. Evidently the school is integrated; Vickery saw people of varied races there. He recalls that the older patients are almost invariably Anglo, probably because integration is relatively recent. The older people could have been trained earlier in their lives to do some sort of useful work, Vickery believes. He says many of them sit day after day on benches, staring out windows at the school’s scenic 100-acre campus. He says picnic and outings on the grounds would doubtlessly improve their morale, but the staff is inadequate in number for such activities. Most of the women are overweight, Vickery says, because of their diet which is high in carbohydrates. “This is an inexpensive diet for the state,” he explains. “What a crime for the citizens of this state to have allowed a human being to be confined at infancy, to grow into adolescence, young adulthood, middle age, and now old age without any attempt to rehabilitate them. Instead, he or she was placed in a cold brick and concrete room and forgotten. So convenient. “With Texas being 38th in the nation in the treatment of mentally retarded children, I sicken at reading such advertisements as a Texas Industrial Cmsn. advertisement in the April, 1967, issue of Texas Parade magazine: ‘Texas taxes impose no penalty on success. No state income taxes are levied, and sales and property taxes are held to a minimum. The unemployment insurance tax rate is consistently first, second, or third lowest in the nation; its per capita tax, eighth lowest; and per capita debt 13th lowest. With taxes rising elsewhere, turning to Texas for a plant location with a built-in tax break is your most logical move.’ “Could it be,” Vickery asks, “that other states are meeting their responsibilities, while Texas lies in the backwash of reactionism to progressive change?” DR. PHILLIP ROOS, superintendent of the state school, denies that the people in his charge are forgotten. He said that, otherwise, Vickery’s analysis was “pretty accurate.” Roos said he is hopeful that the current legislature will provide some relief, saying that needs for updated facilities and better staff pay have been a genuine problem. The budget for the 1968 fiscal year envisions roughly a million dollars more for operating the school, from about $3.8 million in the current year to $4.8 million. Jess Irwin, executive director of the Dept. of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, says that it was “obvious that this was [Vickery’s] first visit to a school for the mentally retarded.” Many of the conditions Vickery saw “would exist any time you went out there even under ideal circumstances.” The response of the press to Vickery’s visit to the state school was rather widespread; he was interviewed by a number of radio and TV stations, as well as by several, newspapers. He says he had many calls from persons who have relatiVes in statessehools for the mentally retar’aed or mentally ill, verifying his observations and urging him to pursue the matter. 0 AND IN OTHER MATTERS Austin A number of bills affecting consumers, renters, buyers of groceries, and drivers of carsthe people, in shorthave been proposed this session; some of the measures have passed. Still alive is a bill passed by the Senate that would Make anyone who pays rent with a worthless check liable to 30 days in jail and a $200 fine. Sen. Oscar Mauzy, Dallas, amended the bill in the upper house to make the same penalties apply to a landlord who gives a bad check to a renter, for example, refunding a deposit. Another Senate-passed bill would permit the establishment of minimum prices on milk, as established by a state dairy commissioner. This bill. has run into opposition in the House and may not make it. Rep. Jack McLaughlin, Fort Worth, has charged that two men who have lobbied for this bill are not registered to do so. It is believed that he re fers to a prominent public relations man and an attorney who is associated with a leading Austin law firm. One bill that is probably going to make it to the governor’s desk will double auto license rates on the smallest cars, such as Volkswagens, increase rates by $1 on middle-sized cars, such as Fords and Chevrolets, and reduce rates on large cars, such as Cadillacs. Apparenity dead for this session are bills that would allow garnishment of wages, prohibit selling goods below cost, 6 The Texas Observer and ban chain optometry operations \( though a modified form of this bill may pass, providing that individual optometrists at the office of a chain must be listed in the firm’s advertising and on the In the insurance field, a bill by Sen. Chet Brooks, Houston, has gone to, to governor’s desk. It will require that insut-, ance companies include coverage of damages caused by uninsured motorists in all policies issued in the state. Such coverage is now voluntary at $4 annually. Rep. Carl Parker, Port Arthur, has an alternate plan, believing Brooks’ bill put the burden of premium on the wrong party. Parker wants to make drivers show that they have liability coverage when they buy license plates. He said lobbyists for insurance companies have been working hard against his proposal, but that an interim study of this idea is planned by the House Insurance Committee. The Senate has created a five-member committee to investigate abuses by health and accident surance companies. Another bill would require insurance companies to tell policyholders why their policies are being cancelled and to give 30 days notice of cancellation. This measure probably won’t make it. Texas will make a start on Medicaid participation on Sept. 1. Beginning then the 350,000 Texans who are now on welfare rolls will receive aid in paying their medical bills. By 1975 the state must begin including the medically needy who are not on welfare. Current estimates hold that there are about 230,000 such people in the state now who won’t be covered until an appropriation is voted for their needs. The consumer credit code passed this session was discussed in the last issue. Pollution The Texas Manufacturers Assn. is having its way this session in the matter of laws pertaining to controlling pollution of water and air. One bill already signed into law by Gov. Connally changes the name of the Water Pollution Control Board to the Water Quality Board, makes, it an independent agency for the first time \(it is staffed by the Health Dept. at present and provides that the state, and not localities, will set standards of water quality. It is this last point that has been at issue here this session. Rep. Rex Braun, Houston, and several Houston area Senators have championed the right of localities to set tougher standards, should they so choose. But the Houstonians have been unsuccessful in selling this idea to other legislators. Sen. Criss Cole, also of Houston, and Sen. Charles Herring, Austin, pushed the bill through the upper house; it was carried in the lower House by Reps. Bill Clayton, Springlake, and Gus Mutschet, Brenham. The air pollution control bill sponsored by Cole and Rep. Don Cavness, Austin, and favored by the TMA has passed ‘the Senate. As does the water quality act, this bill provides that local standards shall be no more stringent than the state board