Page 13


1968 appropriation for reorganizing the agency and for travel, supplies and salary increases. Legislators questioned appropriations for a number of. state agencies. Rep. Don Gladden criticized the conference committee for giving $1.2 million to the Texas Aeronautics Commission, an increase of $400,000 over 1968. He said that the commission should be abolished because it has few real duties. Heatly answered that the TAC controls intrastate air service. \(Later the Kountze News speculated that the. TAC received such a generous allocation because last year it gave Paducah, Heatly’s hometown, several thousand dollars more than it had requested House Republicans opposed a $200,000 allocation for the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs in Austin and $1 million for the LBJ State Park near Stonewall. Rep. Frank Cahoon of Midland argued unsuccessfully that the appropriation ought, to be blocked until the names of contributors to a fund used to create the park are made public. The house passed the appropriations bill 106 to 39. Senators Cole and Brooks of Houston attacked riders in the bill restricting the Department of Health and the Air Control Board from spending money to fight pollution caused by cotton gins. Rep. Heatly put the riders in the house bill, and he refused in committee to let them be removed. Brooks called on the governor to veto the riders. \(Connally took Air Control Board received only $40,000 for the coming year. In comparison, the Cotton Research Committee of Texas received $597,000. Senator Word, a member of the appropriations conference committee, voted against the bill because he opposed a $200,000 expenditure for construction of a new boys’ reformatory. He said he has nothing against the new school, but that he could not find out where it is to be built. Word said he was told that Rep. Mutscher, the next hou.e speaker, will decide where to place the school. Two other senators, Cole and Republican Henry Grover of Houston, voted against the appropriations bill. The main surprises in consideration of appropriations came on the house floor early in the session. For the first time in six years, house members dared to amend a spending blil drafted by Heatly. Rather than simply accepting the bill as it usually does, the house, debating it for four hours, accepted three amendments out of the 36 proposed. Freshman Rep. John Hannah of Lufkin succeeded in adding $200,000 for the AlabamaCoushatta Indians to upgrade their recreational facilities and tourist attractions. Rep. Skip Scoggins of El Paso got an additional $122,680 for the Tigua Indians for the same purposes. The conference committee later cut the appropriations for Indians back to the original amount. “We’ve been scalped,” Dempsie Henley, state commissioner for Indian affairs, complained. The third amendment did not require any additional funds, but it was a direct challenge to Heatly. The powerful West Texan had put a rider in the house bill prohibiting the DPS to use its two helicopters for traffic control. Heady said he does not like the helicopters “spying on motorists.” An amendment by Rep. Skeet Richardson of Fort Worth deleting the rider passed 77 to 64. Senate Kills Mini-Bottle Bill The mini-bottle bill, which was talked to death during the waning hours of the session, received more attention from the press and from legislators than either the tax or appropriation bill. It was an emotional issue on which every legislator had a definite postiion. The house by a close margin passed the bill which revamped liquor laws and allowed hotels, motels and restaurants to serve liquor in two-ounce bottles. The measure was taken up in the senato only a few days before the close of the session. Joe Christie, senate sponsor of the bill, accepted a number of amendments. He refused, however, to accept a proposal by Senator Strong which, as’ one reporter put it, “drained the spirits out of the bill.” Strong wanted to remove the mini-bottle provisions, leaving the bill with only its strict reforms. His amendment passed 16 to 15 on the definitive wet-dry vote in the senate. Voting against the amendment were Bernal, Berry, Brooks, Christie, Cole, Grover, Harrington, Harris, Herring, Jordan, Patman, Schwartz, Wade, Watson and Word. Christie continued to fight to keep the bill alive. He hoped that if the bill were sent to conference committee the conferees would reinsert the mini-bottle provisions. But a number of wets did not seem to understand his tactics and the bill was defeated 14 to 17. Christie pronounced the bill dead on Friday, June 28, but by Monday he had hopes of its resurrection. Governor Connally had put a great deal of pressure on legislators to pass the bill. Friday he 4 The Texas Observer called the senate action a mistake. Two senators who had voted against the bill, Wade of Dallas and Jordan of Houston, indicate they had changed their votes over the weekend. Monday Wade successfully moved to reconsider the bill, but it was not brought up’ because a bill by Senator Bates had to be considered first. Bates’ bill, which did , away with private clubs in dry areas, ran into opposition from dry senators. Bill Moore of Bryan stalled action on the bill by talking for a number of hours on a resolution in support of Texas A&M Mushy Lambs “I know there are some in here that are as firm as mush and brave as lambs.” .Sen. Dorsey Hardeman “And you know what happens to those who ain’t!” Sen. Charles Wilson University. After Moore had exhausted himself, the senate tentatively passed Bates’ bill 16 to 13 and adjourned for the night. Tuesday, Blanchard and Wilson staged another filibuster against final passage of Bates’ bill. Wilson, a liberal from a dry area who has been sighted from time to time at Scholz’ beer garten, read letters from H. L. Hunt and Hunt’s ultra-conservative Baptist pastor, W. A. Criswell l describing the evils of drink. Early in the afternoon Wilson stopped talking and the senate defeated Bates’ bill 15 to .16. Christie, who was confident he had a 16-15 majority to pass the liquor bill, once again tried to bring the senate to a vote, but Blanchard launched another filibuster. The senate recessed for dinner, giving Blanchard time to rest. He resumed his talkathon at 8:05 p.m. with renewed vigor. “I’ve been drinking a little of that ol’ filibuster tonic,” he confided to one reporter. Some of the other senators apparently had been spiritously refreshed, for they were in unusually high spirits. Senator Hall extolled the virtues of John Dillinger, who he said once visited his hometown of Rockwall. “Few people realize that Dillinger didn’t smoke or drink, he just robbed banks and killed people,” Hall said. After Hall and other senators had risen to speak on a number of esoteric subjects, the lieutenant governor warned them to stay on the subject of the liquor bill and to conduct themselves in an orderly way Blanchard continued talking, relieved occasionally by Murray Watson of Waco, until midnight, the beginning of the last day of the session. Christie did not have the two-thirds majority it would have taken to pass the bill on the last day of the session, so liquor reform and the mini-bottle were dead. With business out of the way, the last day of the session was full of ceremony. The senate elected and installed a new president pro ternpore, liberal Sen. Roy Harrington. The senate also said farewell to three conservative members, all defeated in the May primary. The secretary of the senate read a long, laudatory resolution comparing Hardeman, who has