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The Texans on Taxes sufficient time to make head or tail of the thick final printed version because it appeared at the last moment. Most important, she voted no because the tax bill would have “devastated the oil and gas interests,” the aide said, which are important to Schroeder’s Denver constituency. At least Mickey Leland of Houston, who heads the House Select Committee on Hunger, was independent enough to vote for the tax rule, agonized though he was over the bill’s effects on the oil and gas industry. As for Gramm-Rudman, the reasons for support ranged from Kennedy’s nonsensical: “Now a procedure is in place to ensure that Congress will address the deficit responsibility,” to John Kerry’s hope that government “should be more honest to the people about the debt,” to Rockefeller’s mysterious reasoning that Gramm-Rudman will help the perpetually depressed industries of West Virginia. Finally there is the wisdom of Albert Gore, successor to the tradition of Estes Kefauver. He told the Village Voice through a spokesman, “It was better to do something than nothing at all.” LI Although the final passage of the tax bill by the House on December 17 came on a voice vote, there were two significant votes that show where the House members stood on the issue. In the first vote, on December 1 I , the House rejected a motion to bring the sweeping tax reform bill up for discussion by a vote of 202-223. But on December 17, after lobbying by the President, the House voted 258-168 to consider the bill. All Texas Republicans voted against the tax bill on both occasions, with Rep. Tom Loeffler of Hunt leading the charge on behalf of business interests and against Reagan. The Democratic delegation was a mixed bag. On December 11 nine Democrats voted to bring the bill up; six voted against it. In favor were: Hall of Rockwall, Pickle of Austin, Wright of Fort Worth, de la Garza of Mission, Coleman of El Paso, Leland of Houston, Golzalez of San Antonio, Bustarnante of San Antonio, and Ortiz of Corpus Christi. Against: Chapman of Sulphur Springs, Wilson of Lufkin, Bryant of Dallas, Leath of Waco, Stenholin of Stamford, and Andrews of Houston. But on December 17 Democratic support had shrunk to six, with ten opposed. In favor on this vote were: Pickle, Wright, de la Garza, Coleman, Leland, and Gonzalez. Against were: Chapman, Wilson, Hall, Bryant, Brooks, Leath, Stenhohn, Bustamante, Andrews, and Ortiz. Rep. Martin Frost of Dallas voted “present” both times. Austin THIS IS THE story of one child’s sexual abuse case and the wall of bureaucratic inertia her par ents ran into seeking justice. It is the story of an agency so inefficient, uncoordinated, and under-funded that it poses a serious hazard to the state’s halfmillion children in daycare facilities. Emily’s nightmares began last winter, her mother told the Observer. “No, don’t! No, don’t!” the two-year-old wailed. By September, turned three, she’d added some words and a first name to her cries, and suddenly her parents thought they knew. On September 16, Emily’s mother filed a complaint of sexual abuse with the Department of State policy calls for child abuse complaints to be investigated within 24 hours. It wasn’t until Thursday three days after Emily’s mother filed the complaint that the agency dispatched investigators to the home of the alleged perpetrators, a northwest Austin couple, whom we here call Jane and John Doe. Bill Adler is a freelance writer living in Austin. Five weeks later, on October 25, Ada Brown, a Child Protective Services division worker, submitted a report to her supervisor, Wanda Perla, who approved it and sent it on to the Region 6 Office for Daycare Licensing \(the region covers 30 central Texas counbelieve” that John Doe, 29, “sexually abused said child when he fondled her and placed his penis in her genital area. . . .” Pretty strong language. But apparently not strong enough to move Licensing, which sat on the case for another three weeks, despite the fact that officials had available additional reports from a child psychologist, the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department, and two pediatricians to one of whom Emily had been referred by DHS. Dr. Beth Nauert, who examined Emily on September 26, concluded: “The child’s history and behavior in the office are strongly suggestive of sexual abuse.” DHS’s regional attorney, Susan Hollon, who represents the state in child abuse cases, told the Observer Nauert is “one of two doctors in the city [Austin] who really knows her stuff.” Licensing officials also had available in their own files in an open record, in fact a prior complaint against Jane Doe, a complaint that was not acted on in strict accordance with the agency’s regulations. The Does’ day-care center continued to operate. Yet when Williamson County Deputy Sheriff Sgt. Linda Bunte in September requested agency records on the Does, she was told there was no previous complaint record. “I don’t understand why I wasn’t told about it and you walked down there and just picked it up and looked at it,” Bunte told the Observer. On January 28, 1983, Licensing received a complaint regarding the death of a four-month-old girl in the care of Jane Doe. Three days later, an investigator telephoned Doe to make an appointment for February 2. \(Again, the agency violated its own policy by failing to about the practice of calling to arrange for an investigative visit to the scene of a death, current regional Licensing supervisor Irma Bermea said, “I will say that’s not being done now; we don’t set up appointments.” What the investigator found, according to her case report, was a variety of violations of the state’s Minimum Standards for Registered Family Homes, including operating without a registration, above the legal limit of children, and with possibly hazardous conditions. The death of the infant baby was ruled Day-Care Distress A Child Abuse Case Makes Its Way Through DHS By Bill Adler 8 JANUARY 24, 1986