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prepared one for H.B. 6 already. In any case, Herring also plans to write directly to agency heads, asking for their own estimates of how much it will cost their departments to make information and copies of documents available. \(DPS Director Wilson Speir has claimed, unofficially, that the DPS will have a $1 million revenue loss if the bill passes. But he refused to provide evidence to that A Jurisprudence subcommittee has approved HB 3, the open meetings act, in a revised edition by Sen. Chet Brooks of Pasadena. Most of Brooks’ adjustments are exemptions from public-session requirements for certain bodies or certain deliberations. Agencies . financed wholly by federal funds are exempted. School boards planning strategies for bargaining with teachers are exempted. Discussions of property sales and leases, negotiated contracts and prospective gifts or donations \(in addition to location and price of property to be exempted. Deliberations on certain personnel matters \(“evaluation, reassignment and duties,” in addition to version also attempts to exclude purely social gatherings from the bill’s requirements without creating a serious loophole. The bill now goes back to the full committee. And the House lobby registration bill went to another Jurisprudence subcommittee after an advisory ruling by Atty. Gen. John Hill raised constitutional questions about certain sections. Hill did not attack the key provision that persons with lobbying expenditures of more than $150 in a calendar quarter be required to register. But he held that requiring registration by those who pay for advertising to solicit others to contact their legislators “impermissibly burdens the right of free speech.” Hill’s opinion was distributed just as the hearing was getting underway, which made for considerable confusion. The word “unconstitutional” was tossed around quite a bit. Chairman Herring called , on “impartial witness” George Rice, an attorney from the Houston firm of Butler, Binion, Rice, Cook and Knapp. The bill is a “burdening and trammeling of the constitutional right to do business with your own government,” Rice said impartially. Various Chambers of Commerce had spokesmen there to oppose the bill. And a lobbyist told the Senators the bill “gives the false impression you are easily corruptible.” Ganging up The present stampede of Texas banks to form holding companies is caused, you guessed it, by the desire to make more money. Business Week reported in 1971 that Texans daily were borrowing about $500 million net from out-of-state banks. Since then, the state’s banks have been attempting to find ways to make people Borrow Texan. One serious limitation on lending is the federal law allowing a bank to loan a single customer no more than 10 percent of the bank’s capital. Now, with banks forming alliances, they can make bigger and bigger loans. Capital National Bank President H. G. Symonds, Jr., told Houston, the city’s Chamber of Commerce magazine, that at least 50 banks in Harris County are either in multi-bank operations or are contemplating some sort of affiliation with holding companies. “Possibly in some businesses this might be regarded as too great a concentration,” Symonds said, “but the banking industry is and will remain so fiercely competitive that the concentration is not excessive.” The state’s largest bank holding company is First International Bankshares \(which includes Citizens Bank and Trust of with $3.5 billion in resources. No one has yet asked the attorney general to rule on whether the holding companies are in conflict with the Texas constitution, which prohibits any form of branch banking. [In the 1930’s as boys] we spent most of our outdoor time along the West Fork of the Trinity that passed just to the north of that part of [Fort Worth] . . . . Though the Trinity itself was puny and slow and choked with logs and debris from its occasional rises, its water was clean and its pools held some bass and bream. In the thick woods and hayfields of the bottomland roundabout lived quail, doves, squirrels, rabbits, a few wary deer, and other huntable creatures. . . . The West Fork bottom was our frontier. It is ruined now, in accordance with an American pattern. A postwar subdivision built there got flooded a couple of times, as any child could have foretold, so the Engineers cut down the trees and straightened the river into a ditch, at public expense. . John Graves in Growing Up in Texas, Encino Press, Austin, 1972. March 30, 1973 15 ENOUGH? CONSUMER this . . . ENVIRONMENTAL that .. . Just more sweet words for sour lobby-drafted legislation. TEXAS CONSUMER ASSOCIATION is putting more meaning in misused terms. TCA provides its members meaningful assistance with individual consumer problems. TCA promotes genuine consumer legislation. TCA monitors anti-consumer activities in “regulatory” agencies at all levels of government. TEXAS CONSUMER ASSOCIATION P. 0 BOX 13191 AUSTIN., TEXAS 78711 My membership fee is enclosed \($5, individual; $3, I’m not ready to join yet, but send more information. Name Street City/State Zip Telephone Special Consumer Interest JOIN THE EFFORT JOIN TCA