to the ultimate success of the plan because of the “Houston factor.” The constitutional amendment authorizing the bond money to pay for the water bill will go on the ballot this November at the same time Houston voters will be deciding their city races. This will mean that Hogston will have a greater influence on the water proposals than other parts of the state. Since flood control is important to Houston, the stronger the measures, the better the bill’s eventual chances are. Speaker of the House Gib Lewis has not made the chances of a progressive water bill any greater by appointing a Republican-oriented team to the conference committee. The fundamental notion underpinning the Senate version of the bill is that the state has a legitimate role in protection of a common interest where water use is concerned. This is also the very nature of environmental concern that natural resources are not a private concern and that protection of natural habitats serves to benefit the community as a whole. The House leaders are resisting this direction at every turn. As the senators and representatives bargain in conference committee, some worthwhile proposals are sure to be lost. Perhaps the agricultural conservation measures will be sacrificed to retain coastal environmental protections. Perhaps some environmental safeguards will be lost to retain others. And as the fine points of the water bill begin to seep away, it will become less and less of a water plan, and, over the years, water will become more and more of a problem. D. D. DIALOGUE Long-Distance Lotto Apropos the articles \(TO, 2/8/85 and Texas: Linda B. Team misses the real subject of debate on the issue. The real subject is the free choice of paying voluntary taxes versus paying involuntary taxes. If you don’t play, you don’t pay. You can play the New York lottery 474-2744 and requesting subscription forms for the Lotto 6/44. Be sure to tell them if you want single subscriptions or the group plan. The group plan is fun to play with your fellow employees on your job at work, family members, Sunday school class, beer joint buddies, etc. According to Lottery Players Magazine, 2311 West Marlton Pike, Cherry Hill, N.J. 08002, the states that will oblige your lottery action are as follows: 1.The Rhode Island Lottery 1425 Pontiac Avenue Cranston, RI 02920 2.The Michigan State Lottery Box 30023 Lansing, MI 48909 3.The Maryland State Lottery 711 West 40th Street Baltimore, MD 21211 4.New Hampshire Sweepstakes Commission Ford Eddy Road Concord, NH 03301 5.Massachusetts State Lottery Dept. S, 15 Rockdale Street Braintree, MA 02184 6.New York State Lottery Box 1977 Albany, NY 02201 In addition, numerous firms in Cantickets and mail them to you. I personally know of several thousand dollars a year that goes to the New York lottery just from San Angelo, Texas. Last year Lottery Players Magazine stated that the six states that accept outof-state subscriptions had over 500,000 subscriptions on the books from players from states other than their own. The New York lottery takes 62% off the top, and plays with the rest. Do they make money? Anyone who has ever traversed the Texas flatlands to the cool pines and green pastures of Ruidoso Downs must surely have noticed that about 75 % of the cars and horses belong to Texans! So, many other states are collecting our very own voluntary taxes while we go up on our involuntary taxes. If I had my druthers, I would druther have a state lottery and pari-mutuel horse racing. Then reduce our involuntary taxes instead of raising them. Topper Rawlings San Angelo p.s. Concerning Ms. Team’s worry about the bookies if bookies are really a problem, we had better outlaw professional football because that’s where all the action is! Parental Consent Your February 22nd issue featured an excellent article about anti-abortion bills pending in the Texas Legislature I would, however, like to correct one statement that appeared in this article, regarding legislation that requires a minor girl to get her parents’ consent to obtain an abortion. The article correctly described SB 129 and HB 486, companion 18-page anti-abortion bills which include a parental consent requirement with a judicial bypass. This bypass allows the girl to ask a judge to declare her mature enough to get an abortion without her parents’ consent. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld parental consent laws, only if they include such a bypass. To correct the article, there are currently several states that have passed such laws. The Texas Abortion Rights Action League opposes parental consent requirements because such laws compromise the privacy of the young woman involved and inhibit her from obtaining an abortion if she desires one. While it is hoped that teenage girls can turn to their parents in such a crisis, familial comfort and support cannot be suddenly legislated if they are lacking. Teenage girls bear the burden of such laws by delaying their abortions; they also may travel greater distances, incur greater expense, and suffer greater emotional harm in coping with the situation. Pamela Fridrich Executive Director, TARAL Austin Una Carta de Sr. Smith I confess to some puzzlement after reading your comments \(TO about Rep. Kae Patrick’s bill to. make English the official language of Texas, probably because I haven’t read his bill. If he really thinks San Antonio should be called Saint Anthony, he deserves ridicule, but I think English should be the official language of Texas, and I have never thought San Jacinto should be Saint Hyacinth. I do think voters should speak English well enough to vote an English-only ballot. How else can they be expected to understand and judge the issues and the candidates’ speeches? I don’t think we should expect the candidates to campaign in Spanish, and I’m sure you don’t want to have to publish a Spanishlanguage edition. It will help all Texans to understand one another and work together to solve our problems if we all speak the same language, and I hope your “journal of free voices” will continue to speak only in English and will support the effort to make it our official language. Frank C. Smith, Jr. Houston THE TEXAS OBSERVER 5
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