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cies of state government have always used a very conservative figure for federal funds estimated-to-be. Generally speaking they always get more, which gives them more to spend and programs, if they’re consistent in using the conservative figure Of estimated to be federal funds, then it may not affect the reality of the total funding as much, percentagewise anyway, as what the federal cuts would be. So you don’t see the necessity of possibly having a special session on a budget? Well of course that is too far, I think, into the future to say at this time. I’m hoping that our bill would be given enough-flexibility that we wouldn’t have to come into a special session. You know we’re just guessing when we say what Congress is going to do with the President’s proposals. I’m sure they’re-going to be changed considerably in the House, although they weren’t in the Senate. So I think it’ll be midsummer or late summer before we really know the full extent of the budget cuts at the federal level. I was just wondering if, you know, this might lead possibly to annual budget sessions. I hope not. I don’t think it’s necessary. I think any time you go into annual budget sessions, the cost of budgeting and doing government increases considerably. An agency spends a lot of time working on budgets. If they were working on a budget every year instead of every two years I don’t know how much personnel time and cost would be involved, but it would be considerable. Preston Smith vetoed the second year of the appropriations bill. We came back with the sole purpose and intent of writing a second year bill for less money and it wound up being more money. What year was that? I believe it was his second term. I’m not real sure. Do you support the Reagan spending cuts or do you feel they’re excessive? No, I, I, I think that now you know in particular that we don’t have the details up. But I think we had in this country to face up to the realization that you can’t continue to deficit spend forever and ever. We’re approaching close to a trillion-dollar national debt, or national budget. That budget right now includes an item of about $90 billion a year just for interest on the federal debt. That $90 billion could buy a lot of programs and services for our people. And until we take note and turn the tide around on deficit spending, I think we were heading for a real disaster. And hopefully, though we may not like some of the cuts, if we’ll all share in them equally it may be the best thing that could ever happen at this particular point in history. So you don’t think his proposals were excessive at all? No. Even when it comes to cutting a lot of social programs or the Great Society programs? No, I don’t because you look at those programs historically, from their conception they have outstripped percentagewise the growth in cost that any of them had ever anticipated it would. And I think that continued growth and cost is what really got us into serious problems. In the past few years the Republican Party has gained tremendously in Texas. Just what happened to the Democratic Party and why have the Democrats lost so many seats and the governorship? Well, I don’t think that the Democratic Party in ‘texas has changed drastically. I think that the people, the voters in Texas are fairly independent and I think the majority of Texans are still conservatives philosophically, -and when the Austin How are pro-solar power bills faring in this session of the texas legislature? As of April 13, dubiously. Encouraging the use of solar in state buildings has moved along. The House has passed a bill by Rep. Joe Hanna, Breckenridge, to require cost studies of solar for all new state buildings and the use of solar where feasible. The Senate natural resources committee, while not acting on Hanna’s bill, has reported favorably SB 363 by Sen. Bob Vale, San Antonio, which would require use of solar where feasible in the renovation and repair of state buildings, also. Four other solar bills have been reported out by Senate committees, but are stalled in Hanna’s energy resources committee in the House. These a _re SB 362, creating a state commission on reuse of a TENRAC-administered fund to demonstrate solar generation of heat for industrial purposes \(Sen. Tati SantiesteTexas Public Utility Commission to adopt standards for testing solar energy devices \(Sen. James Brown, Lake TENRAC-run fund to demonstrate solar Democratic Party offers liberal candidates, they’re going to slide across the ballot into the Republican column. But I think if you use a middle-of-the-road approach in candidate selectivity, you’ll find that the Democrats win every time. So you’re blaming the losses more on increasing liberal candidates? Yes. I was wondering if you ever thought that maybe the increasing Republican strength would in fact cut into the support of the conservative Democrats; in fact, maybe conservative Democrats would disappear as Republicans take over. I don’t think so. There are some districts that traditionally in Texas are going to be Republican and those are some of the suburban areas where we have a lot of Northeastern Republican people moving in. Other conservative areas of the state are going to be areas that will continue, I think, along the same lines they have in the past, up until such time as they have a real choice of philosophy between a Democrat and a Republican and I think those area will basically go to the more conservative candidate. steam generation in steam electric power This latter bill would envision up to 20% state funding for a costly, complicated scheme to point concentrating collectors at a tower to make steam to make electricity. Denis Hayes, director of the Solar Energy Research Institute \(funded by the Department of Energy and scheduled for demolition by the Reagan golden turkey. Both houses have passed a bill by Rep. Milton Fox, Houston, to exempt small electric generators from regulation by the Public Utilities Commission. This should help the generation of energy from windmills, solar systems, and industries using their waste steam to generate electricity. Proposals to exempt solar power for site consumption from PUC jurisdiction, require public utilities to have solar testing-and-monitoring programs, provide state loans to finance solar devices for residences, exempt certain energy conservation property from sales and use taxes, and prohibit new unreasonable restrictions on solar devices have gotten nowhere. 0 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 9 The Austin Sun-Watch i