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Tea and Coffee in the House A House Criminal Jurisprudence subcommittee held a farcical three-hour meeting recently and voted 3-2 to report out a slightly-modified version of Gov. Dolph Briscoe’s drug control bill. The subcommittee had agreed to use the Briscoe bill as a “vehicle” so that a single bill could be reported back to full committee after consideration of amendments. As it turned out, the subcommittee members accepted only a few changes but oh, how they went about it. Five of the subcommittee members \(chairman Felix McDonald of Edinburg, Robert Maloney of Dallas, Bill Sullivant of Gainesville, Ronald Coleman of El Paso for the meeting by discussing the matter with Roy Coffee, Dolph’s legislative liaison, in the governor’s office. The guv himself dropped in to commend the five on all the hard work they had done. Presumably, he did not wish to commend Rep. Ron Waters of Houston, an advocate of marijuana decriminalization, or Rep. Sarah Weddington of Austin, who has criticized the governor’s bill. They were not invited to the Coffee-klatsch. Coffee explained that the two had told him before they didn’t want to discuss the bill with him, “so I saw no reason to invite them.” Anyway, it was just an informal little discussion. As was the motel breakfast attended by Coffee, Maloney and Rep. Tim Von Dohlen \(who subcommittee meeting. As was, no doubt, Maloney’s whispered conference with Coffee during the meeting itself. Sometime before the formal meeting, Maloney decided it would be neat to introduce his amendments in the form of a 49-page substitute for Briscoe’s 49-page bill. So he did. McDonald delayed the meeting for an hour while printing was completed. Waters asked that the meeting be delayed longer so that he could read the bill. He lost on that motion, 3-3 \(Calhoun amendments, mostly on 3-3 votes. Coleman was the only one of the five “informals” who voted with Waters. And only Weddington voted with him against passage to full committee. Waters will renew his attempt at changing the bill and his protests over the “informal meetings” before the full committee. Maloney’s substitute included the following changes: elimination of the offense of distribution to a minor; elimination of specific increases in penalties for second and subsequent convictions \(though the proposed new penal code would institute increases Political Intelligence reduction of minimum penalties for manufacture, delivery or intent to deliver Schedule I or H narcotics \(such as heroin, years; reduction of minimum penalties for the same offenses involving other Schedule I or II drugs \(including amphetamines and Delivery of or possession with intent to deliver marijuana remains a felony, punishable by a prison sentence of two to 20 years. Possession of more than eight ounces remains a felony, punishable by two to 10 years. Possession of amounts less than eight ounces has been further subdivided by amount into two offenses, one involving less than, one more than four ounces. The smaller amounts rate a smaller misdemeanor penalty than in the original more severe penalty \(up to two years delivery without remuneration of less than one-fourth an ounce \(otherwise known as misdemeanor equivalent to the least heinous case of possession. Rep. Lindon Williams of Houston is asking the House to set up a study of bank holding companies after the Legislature adjourns. Bush-league Beria Waller County District Attorney Oliver Kitzman jumped into the House committee investigation of problems at Prairie View A&M \(see Obs., like some bush-league Beria. His first step was to issue arrest warrants \(subpoenas with attachments requiring bond to be testify before a grand jury in Waller County. Right off the bat, he misspelled the name of Ms. Jo Baylor, an aide to Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Dallas. Baylor refused the warrant. Then a state district court judge informed House Speaker Price Daniel, Jr., that the warrants were null because he \(the mention the possibility that they were null if legislative immunity to subpoena includes legislative aides. The four aides \(Carlton Carl, Daniel’s arch-assistant; Jim Cline, administrative aide to Rep. Paul Ragsdale of Dallas; Grace Curtis, a secretary for Rep. Dan Kubiak, chairman decided they would testify voluntarily. Apparently, though, none of the four had much to say to the grand jury. Ragsdale and Johnson had told the House Education Committee \(under questioning in hearings on the resolution to create the witnesses who could testify that Prairie View President A. I. Thomas took kickbacks from some employees. Cline and Baylor said they had no information about those witnesses. Curtis and Carl said they had no personal knowledge about Prairie View at all. Dr. Thomas said he had asked Kitzman to make the investigation. Kitzman said he had planned to make one anyway, but that he is temporarily out of witnesses. Cheap race Rep. Billy Clayton of Springlake is the highest-spending official candidate for the speaker’s chair next session. \(Clayton is the former executive director of Water, Inc., a West Texas water-lobbying firm, and was the principal House sponsor of the Texas Water Plan. He is currently overseeing Governor Briscoe’s Clayton had received no contributions or loans as of March 1, the first bimonthly filing deadline under new House rules, but he had already spent a princely $6.80. His only official opponent, Rep. DeWitt Hale of Corpus Christi, is making do without contributions or expenditures so far. Rep. Fred Head of Troup, generally thought to be interested in the speakership, did not file. Sen. Jack Ogg of Houston has introduced legislation to prohibit editors of student newspapers at state-supported colleges and universities from endorsing political candidates or editorializing on state legislation. The bill prescribes a jail sentence of 30 days or a $1,000 fine for offenders. Meanwhile, the Texas Student Publications board, the policy-maker for the Daily Texan, has given the Texan tentative permission to publish such partisan editorials. Texan Editor David Powell told the Observer the question is far from settled: “There is obviously a fairness doctrine for editorials paid for out of state funds the question is what a candidate not endorsed can do in response to an editorial.” Powell handled the issue with wry caution at the general election in November: he published endorsements of McGovern, Muniz, Sanders, Angly and April 13, 1973 5