breath,” Smith said, “this is what we must do. We must spendbut only within the bounds of true economy. True economy means financing necessary programs adequately but not bountifully and certainly not wastefully.” Probably the most noteworthy aspect of the governor’s speech was legislators’ reactions to it. While speaking he was interrupted by applause 14 times. Many legislators apparently were expecting Smith to propose an overwhelmingly conservative program. His recommendations -concerning welfare funds, a minimum wage and lowering the voting age were pleasant surprises for liberal legislators. The governor was hailed as “progressive” and “downright liberal.” Lawmakers on the left and the right found aspects of his speech to approve. Many appreciated his low-keyed, modest approach appeal. As liberal Sen. Joe Bernal, San Antonio, explained, “John Connally was probably much more progressive, but his arrogance kept coming into the picture. Smith is giving the senators and representatives top priority.” The governor’s reluctance to deal with specific proposals was interpreted by many legislators as “an open door for the legislature to move on a number of things.” The following day Smith held his first press conference. He verified that he had indeed endorsed a state minimum wage of an undisclosed sum, and he predicted that such a bill will be passed if agreement can be reached concerning fringe benefits for agricultural workers. He said he thinks the wage issue has been “overplayed. I don’t think any of us oppose paying a wage commensurate with the work and what the worker needs to live on.” The governor said he plans to meet with the press each time his press secretary, Jerry Hall, recommends it. HOUSE SPEAKER Gus Mut scher gave the major committee chairmanships to conservative legislators, mainly from the smaller towns and rural areas. The powerful house appropriations committee remained in the hands of Rep. Bill Heatly of Paducah. Rep. Ben Atwell of Dallas was reappointed chairman of the revenue and taxation committee. Rep. Rayford Price of Palestine, a man who vigorously backed Mutscher’s bid for the speakership, was named to head the important state affairs committee. Price, 31, was chairman of the constitutional amendments panel last session. The new speaker divided the education committee into two committees, appointing Rep. George Hinson of Mineola to head the public education committee and Rep. Menton Murray of Harlingen to head the higher education committee. Even the urban affairs committee will be chaired by a rurally oriented legislator, Rep. Charles Jungmichel of La Grange. Other important committee chairmanships went to Rep. R. H. Cory of Victoria, a key Connally aide, rules; Rep. Felix `Don’t start dragging a lot of outsiders into this.’ McDonald of Edinburg, criminal jurisprudence; Rep. John Traeger of Seguin, constitutional amendments. House liberals, or at least labor-oriented representatives, were awarded the chairmanships of only a few minor committees data processing and printing, house administration, penitentiaries and youth. DIVIDING legislators into conservative and liberal groupings \(and into Incorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the State Week and Austin Forum-Advocate. 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. Associate Editor, Kaye Northcott. Editor-at-large, Ronnie Dugger. Business Manager, C. R. Olafson. Business Manager Emeritus, Sarah Payne. Contributing Editors, Elroy Bode, Winston Bode, Bill Brammer, Lee Clark, Sue Horn Estes, Larry Goodwyn, Harris Green, Bill Helmer, Dave Hickey, Franklin Jones, Lyman Jones, Larry L. King, Georgia Earnest Klipple, Al Melinger, Robert L. Montgomery, Willie Morris, James Presley, Charles Ramsdell, John Rogers, Mary Beth Rogers, Roger Shattuck, Robert Sherrill, Dan Strawn, Tom Sutherland, Charles Alan Wright. The editor has exclusive control over the editorial policies and contents of the Observer. 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 the category of “moderate” when the tricky business for legislature watchers. But the practice of categorizing lawmakers has proven irresistible, given the longstanding one-party nature of Texas politics, and the desire of many to make some basic sense of what goes on in Austin, which, the categorizers maintain, proceeds from such invisible realities as who is “liberal” and who is “conservative.” In analyzing Senate committee assignments the Observer has, at this point anyway, decided to call 13 senators “liberal,” three “moderate” and 15 “conservative.” Seemingly, Barnes may agree to a great extent with the Observer’s evaluations; many times, it seems, he named his committees so that liberals either were outnumbered by moderates and conservatives by just one vote, or else controlled a committee by just one vote. The “liberals vs. other guys” margin is one vote, either way, on 13 of the 27 committees. Liberal senators have expressed pleasure at the committee assignments, being particularly pleased at their unusually high percentage of representation on most all of the committees. This fact could mean, in certain key instances, that a minority report can be filed by liberal members of a committee, meaning that bills that in the past would not be reported to the senate floor will get a hearing there. There are eleven liberal committee chairmen on the 27 committees this year, compared to five liberal chair them, because this is a journal of free voices. The Observer is published by Texas Observer Publishing Co., Inc., 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, 504 West 24th St., Austin, Texas 78705. Telephone GR 7-0746. Editor’s residence phone, GR 8-3851. Change of Address: Please give old and new address and allow three weeks. Form 3579 regarding undelivered copies: Send to Texas Observer, 504 W. 24th, Austin, Texas 78705. Subscription Representatives: Arlingto n, George N. Green, 300 E. South College St., CR 70080; Austin, Mrs. Helen C. Spear, 2615 Pecos, HO 5-1805; Beaumont, Betty Brink, 2255 Harrison, TE 5-5278. Corpus Christi, Penny Dudley, 1224Y2 Second St., TU 4-1460; Dallas, Mrs. Cordye Hall, 5835 Ellsworth, TA 1-1205; El Paso, Philip Himelstein, 331 Rainbow Circle, 584-3238; Ft. Worth, Dolores Jacobsen, 3025 Greene Ave., WA 4-9655; Houston, Mrs. Kitty Peacock, PO Box 13059, 523-0685; Lubbock, Doris Blaisdell, 2515 24th St.; Midland, Eva Dennis, 4306 Douglas, OX 4-2825; Snyder, Enid Turner, 2210 30th St., HI 3-9497 or HI 3-6061; San Antonio, Mrs. Mae B. Tuggle, 204 Terrell Road, TA 6-3583; Wichita Falls, Jerry Lewis, 2910 Speedway, 766-0409. Washington, D.C., Mrs. Martha J. Ross, 6008 Grosvenor Lane, 5300884. THE TEXAS OBSERVER The Texas Observer Publishing Co. A Journal of Free Voices A Window to the South 63rd YEARESTABLISHED 1906 Vol. LXI, No. 3 7.430. February 7, 1969
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