New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 13, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
Texas legislators ready to OK water bill
AUSTIN (AP) — The state House planned a final vote today on a water package that one member fears could send East Texas water to West Texas.
Rep. Smith Gilley, D-Greenville, said Tuesday the “ulterior motive” of backers of the $800 million water plan is to build East Texas lakes to catch water to ship west.
It was just the kind of talk that Speaker Gib Lewis didn’t want to hear. Statewide water plans proposed in past years have died at the ballot box, victimized in part by East Texans’ fears that they’d lose their water.
“We hope those rumors don’t get started,” Lewis said. “We made every precaution in the bill where it would not send out any alarm... ”
The House on Tuesday gave 134-11 approval to a proposed constitutional amendment allowing the state to sell $800 million in bonds to pay the water program. It includes $200 million for flood control projects, $200 million for water quality projects, $200 million for reservoirs and $200 million for other use.
If approved by the Senate, the amendment will be on the November general election ballot.
Rookie congressmen face debts
WASHINGTON (AP) - Going into 1965, Texas' seven new members of Congress have reported debts of at least $28,000 remaining from their 1964 election bids.
Several of them indicated plans for fundraisers to try to pay off the debts, the Houston Chronicle reported.
The reports of Republican Reps. Mac Sweeney of Wharton, Beau Boulter of Amarillo, Joe Barton of Ennis, Tom DeLay of Sugar Land, Larry Combest of Lubbock, Richard Armey of Denton, and Democrat Albert Bustamante of San Antonio were submitted to the clerk of the House.
Sweeney, who unseated Rep. William Patman, D-Ganado, owed $122,969 on Dec. 31. That included $102,000 in loans, $15,000 of which was past due to Texas Commerce Bank of Houston on Jan. 2.
In an interview Tuesday, Sweeney told the Chronicle that his campaign committee has restructured the Texas Commerce loan, as well as a $40,000 loan from Wharton Bank and Trust that originally was due Jan. 30. The Texas Commerce due date has been extended to April 2 and the Wharton loan has been extended to April 30, Sweeney said.
Sweeney said he hopes to raise enough money to retire those loans on time but added that no fund-raiser had been scheduled as of Tuesday.
He also owes $28,000 to Victoria Bank k Trust by Feb. 28, but said that loan would be repaid by Saturday.
The year-end report shows that Sweeney spent almost $600,000 to unseat Patman spent roughly half that amount on his campaign.
Boulter listed debts of $91,765 with about $600 in cash on hand on Dec. 31. Boulter had no outstanding loans at year’s end. He did, however, owe about $25,000 to Southern Political Consulting Inc. of Houston and about $14,000 to Sandler-Innocenzi, a media consulting firm based in Washington. Boulter owed $11,000 to Howard-Gossett Printing & Stationery Co. of Houston.
Kevin Burnette, an aide to Boulter, said the congressman is preparing a letter to solicit contributions and plans to hold a reception in Amarillo on Feb. 25 to raise additional funds.
Between the mail solicitation and the reception, Boulter hopes to slice his debt to $10,000. Burnette said Boulter intends to selectively” accept contributions from political action com mittees to eliminate any remaining debt next month.
Bustamante reported he was $90,732 in debt and had about $3,500 in cash on hand on Dec. 31.
Bustamante has enlisted the help of Rep. Richard Gephardt, D-Mo., to attract potential contributors to a luncheon April 8 in San Antonio. Gephardt is co-sponsor of a tax revision bill with Sen. Bill Bradley, D-N.J., and is to speak at the luncheon.
That evening, Bustamante hopes the presence of Rep. Bill Alexander, D-Ark., an assistant Democratic leader of the House, at a cocktail party in San Antonio will help draw more contributions. Bustamante said he wants to pay off all his campaign’s debt by May 5.
Barton, who spent about $470,000 to win the 6th district seat, including most of Montgomery County north of Houston, listed debts of $62,690, including $61,821 owed to Karl Rove & Co., a direct mail and political consulting firm in Austin. Barton had about $22,000 cash on hand on Dec. 31.
Glen Griffin, a Barton aide, said the congressman raised about $17,000 in January to reduce the debt to roughly $46,000 last week. Griffin said Barton would attend fundraising dinners in Corpus Christi and Austin before the current one-week rongrMMlonel recess concludes on Presidents’ Day, which is Monday.
Tentative approval was given by the House Tuesday for legislation that would implement the plan.
The votes came quickly and with relatively little debate.
Gilley asked bill sponsors whether the package includes water transfers. Rep. Chip Staniswalis, R-Amarillo, said it did not, but Gilley was not convinced.
“We know in our part of the state of Texas that one of the ulterior motives is to move water, not just to catch water for the heck of it, but to move water from one area of the state to another,” Gilley told a reporter.
Lewis said the package he put together with Gov. Mark White and LL Gov. Bill Hobby does not include water transfers.Senate expands program for veterans' housing
The Senate has voted to extend the popular veterans’ housing program and to allow Texas to transfer prisoners, such as those threatened by other inmates, out of state.
Sen. Lindon Williams’ proposed constitutional amendment would raise the limit on bonds for the veterans’ program from $500 million to $1 billion.
Williams, D-Houston, said the program, which allows eligible Texas veterans to borrow $20,000 at less than IO percent interest for the purchase of a home, would run out of money by November if the bond limit is not increased.
He said his proposed amendment would extend the housing program to military personnel on active duty.
The measure was sent to the House on a 30-0 vote Tuesday. If it is approved by the House, it will go on the November statewide election ballot.
Sen. Ray Farabee, D-Wichita Falls, sponsored a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow the
state to transfer prison inmates out of Texas.
Farabee said more than 40 states now have similar authority, and the Texas Department of Corrections requested the measure. He said prisoners could be transferred for medical reasons, so they would be closer to home, or to rid a prison of a troublemaker.Senate questions obscenity standards
The outline of community standards applied to obscenity was questioned under a bill’s proposal to narrow the “community’s ” boundaries during a Senate committee hearing.
The Senate Criminal Justice Committee on Tuesday heard testimony on a bill introduced by Sen. Bill Sar-palius, D-Canyon, in which the community standards, which are now on a statewide basis, would be narrowed to a county level.
Potter County Judge Richard Danbold said it is difficult to try a person on obscenity charges in his county because of evidence brought in by defense attorneys.
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