out his plan just minutes before, and he seemed anxious to take the vote. “We’re looking it over right now,” replied Von Dohlen. “The chair does not recognize that motion.” With the most sarcastic voice that he could muster up, Rep. Robert Bush of Sherman commented on the situation as he prepared an amendment to Von Dohlen’s plan. “I apologize to the chair for not having a full legal document prepared, but since I have only had 30 minutes to read the bill it will take some time,” he said. The Von Dohlen amendment carried the committee 11-7 and was sent to the House. In the Senate It was not only in the House that Democrats fared badly. In the Senate, the week before, again it was the Democrats who passed a bill that helped the Republicans. With Senator Chet Brooks of Pasadena switching sides between Houston Sen. Jack Ogg’s redistricting plan and the one proposed by Sen. John Wilson of La Grange, there was confusion in the Senate. Once, all action stopped for some 20 minutes as senators crowded around the Lieutenant Governor’s podium, asking for guidance. Ogg had proposed a plan would would create a 57% minority district in Dallas. His plan, he said, would leave incumbents a chance to compete with Republicans and create a “swing district” that both Republicans and Democrats would have a chance of winning. Brooks explained he had voted against Ogg’s plan because he felt it would have a “ripple effect” on other districts. “I apologize. . . .” said Brooks as he asked that Ogg’s plan be brought back for consideration despite his initial vote against it. But when the final count was taken, it was Ogg’s plan that had taken the fall and Wilson’s, which provided for a 64% minority district in the Dallas area, that was voted in. Brooks’ vote was the deciding factor in the 16-15 tally. Brooks said he did not think that any plan “that does not give Dallas a shot at a minority district” would get Justice Department approval. It is known that Brooks wants a congressional district he thinks he can win himself. The Wilson plan, which in effect became the House plan with a few minor amendments, was criticized because of districts that it gave to the Republicans. Its strong minority district in Dallas was attacked as a tactic for creating a Republican district in Dal las, with no actual concern for minority problems. “There has never been a time since Reconstruction that Republicans had any interest in blacks,” said Sen. Lloyd Doggett of Austin. “You take all the minorities and put them off to the side, in another district, leaving all the conservatives concentrated in one area and increasing the chances for a conservative Republican to get elected,” explained Sen. Carlos Truan, Corpus Christi. “Then you tell the minorities you did it for them,” added a bystander. Truan explained that South Texas had fared well under the Wilson plan in not having had Nueces County divided, “but the Democrats lost.” The Bottom Lines Under the House and. Senate plans, Cong. Martin Frost and Jim Mattox, the liberal Democratic incumbents in the 5th and 24th Districts, respectively, are in danger of losing their positions to either a minority candidate within the minority district or a Republican candidate within the newly conservative area. As We Write In a sudden move by the Democratic Caucus, party members in the House fought back just long enough to send Von Dohlen’s bill back to a committee for reconsideration. It had passed “on second reading,” but not finally. Billy Clayton, in what some legislators said was a delaying tactic, accepted a motion to recess House discussion on the bill until later in the afternoon. When Clayton announced the House would “stand at ease.” House members waited four hours before discussion began. Votes to oppose recommitting the bill were “flown in on the Governor’s plane,” according to some legislators, including Berlanga. Among those allegedly flown in was Rep. Mike Martin, who was Despite efforts by Sen. Lloyd Doggett of Austin and Rep. Juan Hinojosa of McAllen to amend it, the Medical Practice Act cleared its last legislative hurdle when the House passed it unanimously July 24. The act puts consumers on the Board shot recently in Austin. Martin arrived with his arm in a sling and requested that the press be kept away from him, according to a sergeant-at-arms. Arguing for sending the bill back to committee, Rep. Robert Bush, Sherman, said that it had been “introduced to the committee members at eleven, attended tt during lunch hour, and approved in a hurry.” The bill barely passed in committee, he said, “with a vote of 10-9.” “Let’s get a bill we can like,” argued Rep. Carlyle Smith of Grand Prairie. “We’ve got ten more days to legislate. What can you say about a product that you have before you for a third reading, and that you are trying to correct?” Von Dohlen had requested that three amendments be made to the bill before sending it on to the Senate. It’s time to send the bill back to the committee “when you get the committee chairman asking you to change” it, said Smith. Von Dohlen argued for amending the bill in the House instead of returning it to the committee on regions, compacts and districts, which he heads. “We have moved forward with the bill. What we have is a bill that has gone through the process of compromise in the committee. The bill was before the committee for over a week. We need to move forward, to continue with the legislative session,” he said, adding that his amendments were minor ones. But his motion to table the motion to recommit the bill failed 78-67, with five absent. Bush explained how the tide had turned against Von Dohlen’s plan, which had come to be known as the “House Republican plan.” “I don’t think we turned it around, it was the media,” he said. “People got calls from home. A lot of people back home were getting the word on ‘what was going in Austin.’ ” It was the Ragsdale plan that came out of committee without much opposition. When it got to the House, though, Clayton was waiting to kill it and replace it with his own -and he succeeded. 0 of Medical Examiners, protects osteopaths from hospitals’ discriminatory hiring practices, and permits optometrists to use diagnostic drugs. Unfortunately, though, it does little to improve health-care delivery to thousands of low-income and rural Texans in the THE TEXAS OBSERVER 7 Medical Practice Act Finally Worked Out
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