,z4 q.10’14.4.4 41, big enough to drive a truck through.” Braun also attempted to amend the bill to allow local county officials to set stricter standards than the state’s standards. The Houston legislator, who lives near the polluted ship channel, argued, “If you need a stronger standard, you set it in your own county. I know and the people of Texas know that in eight years, the Water Quality Board hasn’t done a thing. The ship channel is the biggest cesspool in Harris County.” His amendment lost by a close 78 to 69 vote. Cole’s other major pollution bills came in for heavy criticism by Braun. He said he was “very skeptical” of the bills and would adopt a “wait and see” attitude. Braun was not so kind in reference to Cole’s Clean Air Act. “This is the third time in four years that the Legislature has enacted a so-called Clean Air Act,” Braun said. He called the previous efforts total failures and charged that the pollution problem is worse now than ever before. Braun attacked the Air Control Board as being the “biggest bunch of bureaucratic paper shufflers known to man.” It spends most of its time making public excuses Austin The House and Senate have passed an implied consent bill which is aimed at requiring breath tests for drivers suspected of being drunk. Under the measure sponsored by Rep. Don Cavness of Austin and Sen. Tom Creighton of Mineral Wells, any person who drives on Texas roads implies his consent to be tested for drunk driving. Refusal to take the test can result in suspension of one’s license for up to a year. If a person suspected of DWI is found not guilty in court, however, his drivers license will be restored. Persons certified by the Texas Department of Public Safety will be allowed to administer breath, blood, or urine tests when they suspect a person of drunk driving. Tort Claims Governor Smith exercised his first veto when, in May, he said no to a bill that would make governmental units in Texas liable to tort claim lawsuits. The governor said the act was too broadly drawn. At the time of his veto it was said that Smith was rattling a gubernatorial sabre at the Senate, which hadand hasfailed to confirm his appointment of former Sen. Dorsey Hardeman to the Insurance Commission. At least 11 senators most of them liberals, and most of them supporters of the tort claims bill have signed an agreement not to vote for Hardeman, 11 being the minimum number required to block the appointment. Smith denied that the Hardeman matter had anything to do with his veto; indeed, his staff worked closely with legis for industries which pour filth into the air, he said. Braun introduced eight pollution bills this session which would make corporations criminally liable under the state public health law. All of his bills have been buried in an unfriendly subcommittee in the House and appear to be dead for the session. The Legislature has approved three other Cole bills favored by the Water Quality Board. They are: a The Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act, which divides the power to regulate disposal of waste material among the Texas Department of Health, the Water Quality Board, and county commissioners courts. The Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority, which would set up a board to regulate waste disposal and prevent water pollution in Harris, Galveston, and Chambers counties. The board is charged with designing a 10-year master plan for district sewage systems. The Texas Injection Well Act, which would regulate industrial or municipal waste injected into wells for disposal. K.N. lative sponsors of the tort claims bill to make it conform more nearly to the governor’s wishes. A second measure was passed by both houses of the Legislature in mid-May and sent to the governor, who, it is believed, will sign this measure. Smith thought the act should be limited only to accidents involving motor vehicles. If the Legislature wanted broader coverage, he believed it should exempt attractive nuisances and malfunctioning traffic signals, not grant immunity to governmental employees, and should permit only limited liability to accidents on government property. Rep. Temple Dickson, Sweetwater, House sponsor, said he worked closely with Rep. Felix McDonald, Edinburg, a Smith legislative leader, and with Smith staff members to rewrite the measure to meet more nearly the governor’s wishes. Equality Hopes are dead for formation of a Texas Human Relations Commission, a ninemember permanent body that would receive and investigate complaints of discrimination, conduct hearings, seek to settle instances of discrimination and issue orders backed by penalties or file injunction suits. The nine members would be divided equally among whites, blacks, and browns. Partially undermining the commission’s chances of being established is the passage of a Senate bill \(pushed by Sens. Chet providing for a temporary, four-year committee on human relations, which would not have subpoena power nor any enforcement authority. Also moribund is a resolution providing for equal rights for women. It was passed by the Senate in February but House action has been’ delayed and is not expected now. A number of segregation laws, particularly those passed by the Legislature in 1957 in the wake of the 1954 Supreme Court decision striking down the separate but equal doctrine, are being done away with, or have already been abolished, this spring. Airplanes State Rep. Curtis Graves has raised the recurrent question of the use of airplanes by state officials. When a plane leased by the Department of Corrections crashed in April it reminded Graves that a previous inquiry he had made of that agency about the use of planes had not, he believed, been adequately answered. The plane carried the department’s chief pilot and five private citizens who were aboard under circumstances still unclarified. Graves said he wrote Dr. George Beto, director of the Department of Corrections several months ago, asking about the number and usage of aircraft by the department. “The answer I received was not satisfactory, and the problem was brought to mind again when the department plane crashed.” The plane was on emergency lease to the department at the time, the Huntsville Item reported. It was discovered missing at the Huntsville airport by another TDC pilot, who was scheduled to fly to Florida to pick up a parole violator. Graves asked House Speaker Gus Mutscher to instigate an investigation of the department’s policy pertaining to plane use but the request is not expected to be heeded. Gonzalez Cong. Henry B. Gonzalez’ remarks against those who led this spring’s protest in Del Rio against the discontinuation of the VISTA program there earned him an invitation to address the Legislature. Gonzalez won’t make the talk but the point of the invitation was achieved, to congratulate the congressman for his stand and declare legislative support for that stand. Introducing the joint resolution were Rep. Hilary Doran of Del Rio and Sen. Wayne Connally of Floresville. It passed unanimously in the Senate. Voting no in the House were Reps. Curtis Graves of Houston, Raul Muniz of El Paso, Arthur Vance of Pasadena, Frances Farenthold of Corpus Christi, and Carlos Truan of Corpus Christi. Gov. Preston Smith, in an appearance recently in the Valley, said that if MAYO is investigated it will be by federal, not state, officials. G.O., K.N. June 6, 1969 5 And in Other Matters…
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