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Constitution… There is no dispute about the separation of powers, but the executive section contains a right-winger’s delight: the provision that state agencies self-destruct every ten years and have to be re-created, every decade, by the Legislature. It is the legislative section that has alienated the business community and pro-business Gov. Dolph Briscoe and former Goys. Preston Smith and Allan Shivers. Low legislative salaries keep legislators dependent on lobby favors, prevent poorer people from running fdr the Legislature, and make the Legislature “part-time.” The new document would have five top elected state officials appoint a nine-member salary commission that would set salary limits the Legislature could then enact. The result would probably be higher legislative salaries. In addition, the Legislature, which now meets every two years for 140 days, would meet every year, alternately for 140 and for 90 days, and could assemble in advance each year to organize. Despite the desires of the present lieutenant governor and speaker of the House, Atty. Gen. John Hill has ruled that subject matter for the short-session years could not be restricted. Business and conservatives have always opposed annual sessions because they don’t want public servants devoting that much time to the public business. One member of the kill-the-whole-thing Citizens to Preserve the [Present] Texas-Constitution says the legislative article “would make us lose the input of business and professional people who now serve in the Legislature.. ..” That at least touches on the true issue, for the Legislature is now dominated by businesspeople and lawyers. In a CPTC brochure it is charged that the legislative article would lead to “bigger spending, bigger taxes, and bigger government.” Another CPTC spokesperson, Edward Legislature, meeting annually, would be “chewing up taxes faster than Bob Bullock could collect them.” Obversely, people who favor a full-time, progressive Legislature generally support adequate legislative salaries and annual sessions. The executive article in general strengthens the governor’s office, a good idea. A mechanism is provided whereby a governor can initiate the removal of persons he or she has appointed to jobs requiring Senate consent. Identified, for the first time, as “the chief planning officer of the state,” the governor could require written information from all state agencies, and the Legislature could authorize him or her to exercise “fiscal control” over expenditures. Biennially the governor would have to make a report on the organization and efficiency of the executive branch and re-organization bills he or Bob Wieland Hill: No session restrictions she submitted would have to be voted on by the Legislature, with or without amendments. I do not think one should let distaste for the conservative governors lead one to oppose providing the governorship with these reasonable responsibilities. But then, the sleepers. Distinguishing the Texas Railroad Commission \(which reguagencies, the new document specifically authorizes the Legislature to abolish it. Obviously the oil industry, along with railroads and bus companies, is hoping that the reactionary trend away from government regulation of business will reach, in Texas, the stage of totally unregulated industry. Worse, much worse, “Statutory state agencies with statewide jurisdiction having appointed officers, except institutions related to higher education, have a life of not more than 10 years unless renewed by law for not more than 10 years at a time.” This is Ronald Reagan in the Texas constitution, the purest anti-governmentism. Sen. Peyton McKnight, a leading anti, calls it “the bended-knee provision.” As Comptroller Bullock says, the work of the agencies might come to a standstill the last two years of their permitted decade as they lobbied for survival. The kill-it-all CPTC also comes up with some convincing objections how can you hire qualified people for jobs in an agency with a life expectancy of only ten years? What about legislators’ vendettas against given agencies? Will not legislators threaten agencies with extinction unless they hire the legislators’ cousins and hangers-on? The Legislature can already abolish any of its agencies any time. No, this provision is a disaster. The voter must decide yes or no on the legislative, executive, and_ separation of powers articles, considered as one thing. On balance my subjective judgment is affirmative. Heavy, heavy. Well, here’s a brightener. McKnight points out the new constitution does not designate Austin as the state capital. Another opponent, Charles Thompson of McAllen, really lets fly, reasoning from this omission that the Legislature “could call themselves into session in the Hawaiian Islands if they wanted to.” In the same whimsical spirit, CPTC points out that the provision prohibiting the lieutenant’ governor from holding any corporate office or practicing any other profession for pay would require Bill Hobby to resign from The Houston Post. PROPOSITION 2 In the Texas courts, criminal cases now go from the trial courts to the five-member State Court of Criminal Appeals; civil cases go up through 14 courts of civil appeals and thence to the nine-member Texas Supreme Court, which does not consider criminal cases. The judiciary article, to be voted on as Proposition 2, “unifies” the system so that it culminates, not in the two courts at the top, but in one Supreme Court. The 14 appeals courts now limited to civil cases would handle criminal cases, too, under the new system. During a transition period the high court would be made up of the 14 members of the two top present courts, but would decline in members to nine as judges retired or died, Judge Jack Onion, who opposes this article, would lose his position as presiding judge of the State Court of Criminal Appeals, but like his colleagues on his court would become one of the 14 members of the transitional Supreme Court. The Supreme Court would be given the power to transfer cases between courts at the same level and temporarily assign judges within or between levels. At present that court transfers cases among the 14 civil appeals judges. The stated purpose of the new provision is balancing out case loads and relieving logjams. Supreme Court Justice Tom Reavley, asked whether the high court might not transfer cases or judges with a view to preventing, say, liberal judges from handling certain cases or kinds of cases, thought this was an interesting inquiry, but told me he thought the high court would only transfer a few cases at the trial level in rare instances. Ed Clark predicts that laying both civil and criminal appeals onto nine top judges instead of 14 would worsen the case pile-up at the top by 100 percent. Reavley replies that most criminal appeals, which he says are in the main concerned with the sufficiency of evidence, would be disposed of mainly at the intermediate level of the 14 appeals courts. Sen. Oscar Mauzy, Dallas, contends that the unification of the system would discourage specialization in the separate branches of civil and criminal law. Reavley says it wouldn’t. Insiders at the Court of Criminal Appeals fear that the merger would mean less effective treatment of criminal matters. Latent here may be a vague concern that judges oriented to civil October 31, 19 75 3 AlomM10, 10/0.1y4f. irs -t -. ‘ 0,14,0,..*.r.w w.1116t v.APOW