Because, the financing structure was challenged in a different way than under the original Edgewood case. It was a different type challenge. And we felt a responsibility to defend it to allow the court to have an opportunity to rule on the constitutionality of it From the time the lawsuit was filed, I said that even though the system might be constitutional it was an unfair system. And that I would defend it but that the Governor and the Legislature needed to try to change it. And that was a different approach than I followed with House Bill 72. At that time I said it was unconstitutional and it was unfair and that I would not defend it. In this particular situation, I said that I thought it could be constitutional. And there were a lot of reasons for that belief. And the court used the constitutional interpretation that was different from what they’d ever used before, in this particular case. They found it to be unconstitutional. But again, I said from the beginning that it was -unfair and needed to be changed. And of course, the Governor and the Legislature never took action. When I was in the state Legislature, back starting in 1973, I was an advocate of equal education funding as a basis for public school finance. And I followed that same approach when I was in the constitutional convention. We were not successful in either. We made substantial gains in education in 1973 but we were not successful in the constitutional convention .. . Would you increase taxes as governor, or propose a tax increase if needed, to meet that need? First, I don’t think it’s needed and I have proposed a state lottery . . . I believe that we can get that money through a state lottery. If the people look at the state lottery and make a decision that they will not support a state lottery, then I think we still have to have money. And I think that it would be a decision that they would make. I think that if they would make a decision by voting down the lottery, that’s what they would be doing if that’s the decision they wanted to make. I don’t think they’d do that. I think they’d adopt a state lottery. And I think that with a state lottery, you could get the money that you need, when you combine that with other educational spending. If you’ll take the educational spending off the top of the budget, instead of off the bottom, if you take it out of the top, rather from what’s left over, I think there’ll be ample monies there. But anybody who says that you can meet the educational needs without additional money is simply not being truthful. It’ll take additional money and it’s a question of where you get it. And I would propose for us to get it from a state lottery. And that we enact one just as quickly as we possibly can. How about a social-program agenda in a Jim Mattox administration. Yesterday, there was an article in the [Austin] AmericanStatesman about the Chronically Ill and Disabled Children’s Fund loosing $9.1 million. We have the lowest AFDC monthly grant in the nation or one of the lowest? Would you allocate more state money to social programs, or do you perceive that as a need? I think there’s a need to allocate money towards social programs, but I think that the money should be directed towards attempting to help people off of the welfare system, helping people deal with, with the social problems before the exist. I believe we’d be better off in putting more money into the education system. And I think we’d be better off putting money into birth control education, and pre-natal care to try to stop some of the tremendous costs that are involved in both the welfare program and in the medical expense areas . . . I have, as I note, I’m sure you’re aware, I have attempted to put in what I’ll call parentingresponsibility education in the Harris County schools and in a number of other school districts attempting to “If you’ll take the educational spending off the top of the budget, rather than the bottom . . .” explain to young people what the cost can be to them should they not, should they cause birth and we are, I believe that we must educate our young people. I recently called for an expansion of the birth-control education. And, immediately I was jumped on by one of my opponents [who] advocated abstinence education which is a great concept, it just doesn’t happen to work and has never worked. What about your position on abortion, and maybe some of your I have a long record on the issue and I’m the only candidate in the race that does, as a matter of fact. I think that’s I have a prochoice record stretching back to the time when I was in the Legislature. What else you need to know? And parental consent [for minors seeking abortion]? That always seems to be the one component that advances the farthest in each session There’s some major problems with parental consent. And the problenis with the ones of us who actually deal with these things, for instance, I have prosecuted fathers for incestuous activities with their children. It would be obviously a serious mistake to require that individual to give consent in an abortion posture. I think that the thing that’s most important from a reader’s perspective is this I think you should know. We have now seen this issue come around where it may be politically popular to advocate this particular position. As a matter of conscience, I was dealing with the matter starting 17 years ago when the case was originally decided, the Roe v. Wade case was originally decided. And, I’ve maintained that position over the years, including taking action such as filing a lawsuit to stop, oh, what I call fake abortion clinics from attracting women in misleading, deceptive advertising. We took a case all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Cosmopolitan magazine called me a hero of the woman’s movement or the pro-choice movement because of that. We filed briefs in theWebster case to try to keep the case from being overturned. I was one of, I think the seven or eight attorney generals from around the United States that did that. And I was the only statewide elected official who did that in that state despite a request by the women’s groups to all statewide elected officials to take action and to express a position on the matter. And, I think that the abortion issue should not be a reckless test for either party. It’s a matter of deep concern for people on all sides of the issue. And my position on it is not a pro-abortion position, it is a pro-choice position. One where I do not believe that I should force the government into the position of making a decision for women out there in the process. And I’ve attempted to keep that from happening over a period of time. Again, of the candidates who are running in this race with the exception of I guess Kent Hance I’m the only person whose ever taken and he has taken a pro-choice position but he changed from that when he became a Republican but I am the only one beyond that who has ever had a long consistent record on the issue and has voted on the issue. A totally different issue, utilities regulation, in all of this recent attention on the public utilities commission. Where do you perceive that as coming from? Is there an , imbalance that puts the consumer at a disadvantage with the utility now? Well, first, I was one of the original sponsors of the Public Utility Commission of Texas and helped pass the legislation that we have. The legislation was a compromise and it was not as strong as we would have liked for it to have been. And it is still pretty good legislation. What would cure the problem that we have is electing a governor that would appoint consumer-oriented members to the Public Utility Commission. And if we’re not going to do that we ought to elect those members. And that’s my view of the matter. We have not had consumer-oriented members for quite a time. We’ve had a member or two for each time. We’ve actually had one member each time that was consumer THE TEXAS OBSERVER 9
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