OUGHTA BE A LAW
(continued from page 23)
now, Renfro stated, sex offenders are
locked up in TDC and the root of the
problem is not dealt with. They are let
out of jail without anything being solved,
he added. "A lot of good work is being
done by Dr. Paul Walker at the University of Texas Medical School in Galveston.
We would like to see an inter-agency
council set up to deal with and make
rules for sex offender treatment," he said.
"We would also like to see drug offenders, except for dealers, divided from the
rest of the criminal justice system," Renfro said.
Senate District 15
Senator Jack Ogg (D) at this point has
very few bills drafted, as most of them
are still in the thinking stages, according
to his aide, Marc Davidson.
But, Davidson said, Ogg does plan to
introduce a bill holding tax assessment increases to 10 percent per year for residences and 20 percent a year for industry
and commerce. "Right now," Davidson
says, "every six years, taxes can be jacked
up 177 percent. We want everybody to be
assessed on market values."
Ogg, who has been a state senator
since 1973 and a representative for six
years before that, is chairman of the elections committee. Davidson says that Ogg
would like to see a complete rewriting of
the election codes. "It's completely antiquated," Davidson said. "It wouldn't be
so bad if only lawyers looked at it, but
laymen have to study it all the time to see
what their rights are and how to administer them. For example, although the poll
tax doesn't exist, it is still on the books."
Ogg also plans to introduce a pawn
shop identification bill which will require
pawn shops to ask for better ID, to eliminate the purchase of stolen goods.
Last session Ogg introduced a bill to
ban beach traffic completely, but that did
not pass. This session he has revised it, to
see how different stretches of beach can
be used. "We would leave it up to the
local governments, if they want to use
one stretch for hot rodders, and one
stretch for fishermen, one for picnics and
so on," Davidson said.
Davidson added that Ogg generally introduces 60 bills a session and passes
Senate District 13
Senator Walter Mengden (R) will, according to aide Art Kelly, "introduce a combination of bills that run the conservative
gamut. It should amount to about 125
bills, of which about one-third will pass,"
Among the bills, Mengden plans to introduce a law to ban abortion.
Also legislation to give the people of
Texas the right to have referenda, "which
will give them the chance to control the
government as they doin 21 other states,"
Menden plans a package to fight crime;
to limit state and local taxes, "so that
people can't be taxed without their approval," accroding to Kelly; a law to
protect "the right to work"; a law that
will provide for silent prayer or meditation in schools; and one that will prohibit
automatic promotion in schools; Mengden also plans to re-introduce a mandatory liability insurance for automobiles,
that would be required with the purchase of license plates.
A lot of Mengden's legislation will be
in the area of welfare legislation, Kelly
said. Mengden wants to start a toll free
number to report welfare fraud; he also
plans to introduce legislation that can put
a limited lien on the estates of welfare recipients, so the state can get some of their
money back. Another proposed bill would
require that children take care of their parents after they get too old to support
themselves, Kelly said.
"We will also be introducing a lot of
one-shot deals which will be local and
technical bills. About one-half our bills
are as a result of our constituents writing
in to us. We probably will have many
more new bills to introduce during the
senate session because of that," Kelly said.
Senate District 6
Senator Lincoln Williams (D) has only
prefiled one bill to date, according to aide
Clintine Cashion. "A lot of the senator's
legislation is concerned with veterans,"
she said. According to Cashion, Williams
has filed a bill that would exempt veterans of World War I and the Spanish-American War from property taxes.
"I also believe he is trying to re-introduce the bill which will require that anyone over 18 wear a helmet when riding a
motorcycle," she said.
Senate District 7
Senator Gene Jones (D) has been a state
senator since April 1, 1976. He was elected to former congressman Bob Gam-
mage's state senate seat.
Last session, according to spokesperson Deidre Darrauzet, Jones introduced
about 100 bills. This session, they are not
sure how many Jones will introduce, as
the bills tend to develop along the way.
Some of the large issues they are discussing, Darrauzet says, are single member districts for city council members.
Jones would like to see 1 2 council members, seven of whom would have districts
and five would be at-large, with the
mayor continuing to be elected at-large.
"We will also be looking at introducing
a bill which will define the legal definition of death," she added. According to
Darrauzet, there are two approaches, the
first is a check-off list, in which 15 different tests are performed. "But we are not
going to take that approach," Darrauzet
said. Jones would like to leave it in the
hands of the doctors, with some guidelines. "Right now, the doctors are afraid
to take the responsibility for fear of a
criminal suit, and this would relieve them
from the ambiguous situation that exists
in Texas," she said.
Jones is also trying to do away with religious holidays and substitute personal
leaves of absence, Darrauzet said. "We
want to take it out of the religious spectrum because there are many people of
other religions who want to take their
own holidays." Jones bill would call for a
two-day personal leave of absence.
Jones also hopes to do away with the
10 cent ad valorem taxes which are collected for university construction. "Right
now, that money can only be used for
construction, not for reconstruction. The
Senator would like to see the funds taken
out of a special appropriations fund."
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