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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - September 10, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4A September 2003 HeraldZeitung Serving New Braunfels and Comal since New Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852 New Braunfels Herald was founded The two papers merged in I967and printed in both German and English until 1958 Managing Editor nMffMna Nflws Editor Features Editor Ortnt Editor and Publisher Circulation Director Doufl Ttoitty Craig Mullno OUR OPINION Propositions 712 Our suggestions on how to vote on constitutional amendments FOR AGAINST PROPOSITION 7 This amendment rightly gives courts flexibility to give the accused a fair trial without the burden of empanelling 12member juries in rural district FOR AGAINST PROPOSITION 8 The premise of the Texas Constitution is a dem ocratic This amendment would erode that device and should be Texans deserve to vote for their elected not have someone assume office by FOR AGAINST PROPOSITION 9 Since the Permanent School Fund has been virtually untouched as it has It should remain that The school fund was designed to perpetuate public education in and to dp its princi pal must continue to yield If that fund is the principal would decay beyond abili ty to help Texas Dont let the Leg islature destroy the seed of public FOR AGAINST PROPOSITION 10 If Texas cities want to help their rural counter parts by donating used fire let it Rural fire departments would and big cities would be acting in the true spirit of the Friendship FOR AGAINST Texas is one of the top wineproducing states in the and the industry makes an economic impact of more than billion each This amendment would bring wineries together under one set of giving the wine industry to flourish FOR AGAINST PROPOSITION 12 Juries are capable of deciding what damages are due a victim of malpractice or Leave this authority with the not the FOB AGAINST PROPOSITION 13 counties and junior college districts would have their hands tied by ihjis and their tax base would be shifted as a burden onto other this amend ment does not guarantee fair and equitable dis tribution of tax obligations for all FOR AGAINST PROPOSITION 14 If theres anything Texas its more and better The state borrows money for almost all major and it should be able to do the same for highway FOR AGAINST PROPOSITION 15 This amendment leaves a gaping hole What is included in accrued and who would make that determination And why should city government employees have a guarantee of retirement benefits when privatesector workers are afforded no such guarantee FOR AGAINST PROPOSITION 16 Like its Proposition this amend ment offers freedom and makes responsible Tex ans accountable to The amendment gives homeowners more flexibility and a wider range of financial TODAY Propositions 716 THURSQAY Propositions 1722 FRIDAY A compfete fisting of the HeraWZertungs post tons on aU 22 SUNDAY Complete election as artileir LITTERS POLICY Letters must be 250 words or The Herald Zeitung reserves the right to edit all sub Guest columns should be less than 500 words and must be accompanied by a Address and telephone number must be included so authorship can be No letter will be published until it has been ver By The Associated Press Today is the 253rd day of There are 112 days left in the Todays Highlight in History On an American naval force commanded by Oliver Perry defeated the British in the Bat tle of Lake Erie in the War of On this date In John Smith was elected president of the Jamestown colony council in In Elias Howe received a patent for his sewing In New York City welcomed home John Pershing and soldiers whod served in the 1st Division during World War In Canada declared war on Nazi In Vidkun Quisling was sen tenced to death in Norway for col laborating with the In Americanborn Mildred accused of being Nazi wartime radio broadcaster Axis was indicted in for She was later and served in In black students entered Alabama public schools following a standoff between federal authorities and George Ten years ago The cult series The XFiles premiered on Fox Televi Uftlttd Statfti PRESIDENT George Bush 1600 Pennsylvania NW 20500 SEN KAY BAILCY HUTCHINSON Russell Senate Office Building Room 284 20510 Telephone 202 2245922 Fax 202 2240776 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE 8023 Vantage Suite 460 San Antonio 78230 Telephone 210 3402885 Fax 210 3496073 JOHN CORNYN Russell Senate Courtyard 5 20510 Telephone 202 2242934 Fax 202 2282856 Web Send emails through Web AUSTIN OFFICE 221 West Sixth Suite 1530 Austin 78701 Telephone 512 4696034 Fax 512 4696020 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE 600 Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone 210 2247485 Fax 210 2248569 CONGRESSMAN LAMAR SMITH Rayburn House Office Building Room 2231 20515 Telephone 202 2254236 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE 1100 NE Loop Suite 640 San Antonio 78209 Telephone 210 8215024 Texas Government GOVERNOR RICK PERRY State Room Box 12428 Austin 78711 Telephone 800 Fax 512 4631849 POINTCOUNTERPDINT Prop 12 Comal County as well as Texas are paying much com monly 400 percent to 600 percent more for malpractice insurance than physicians in other More than half of all Texas physi cians have been sued in the last few even though as many as 87 percent of cases are ultimately That statistic alone tells you a lot about the ratio of valid to invalid Do you believe in more than half of doctors are bad Or rather that about nine out of 10 malpractice cases are groundless In recent Texas has been considered the tort award center of the universe because of the record of ridiculously exces sive jury awards and the corrupt Appeals Court and Supreme Court stacked with plaintiff Texas legal practices are driving businesses out of state and dra matically raising health care and defensive medicine all while not limit your right to sue a relatively few personal injury attorneys accumlated unbeliev able Tort reform was at tempted in the late only to be lost in court appeals and eventual defeat by personalinjury court most Texans have awak ened to the corruption and injus tice of our tort reform Our courts are far more balanced and our Legislature has bravely passed an attempt at sweeping tort Virtually all aspects of business and health our governor and our own beloved Carter Casteel support the tort reform measures passed in HB To prevent these new laws from disappearing into court appeals for five to 10 we seek instead for a constitutional amendment to allow the Legislature to set limits for the pain and suffering aspects of current malpractice awards which now make up more than twothirds of the multimil lion dollar Proposition 12 will place noneconomic dam age caps by the who are most responsive to the vot ing instead of obscure judges or where the vot ers have no recourse Proposition 12 will not limit your right to It in no limit the oppor tunity to bring suit and seek reimbursement for real It will only eliminate the ridiculous profiteering of a few attorneys who end up taking 30 to 70 percent of the award Even though special inter ests are visible on both MARKSTATLER sides of this doctors Mark presi are being outspent by mil dent of the Comal County Medical Over 70 percent of attor ney donations on this issue are over while the aver age donation is That in itself tells you who is threatened by Proposition Vote yes on Proposition Tort reform but 12 goes too far Because Proposition 12 would authorize future leg islatures to limit non economic damages in civil law to take away a right you cur rently have under the Texas Con it is the most actively debated of the 22 proposed con stitutional amendments on the 13 The Legislature last May passed House Bill a comprehensive tort reform That bill limits medical malprac tice awards for noneconomic such as pain and suffer ing to from from hospitals and from nursing or no more than from all parties combined for a single I voted for Passage of House Bill 4 was a legislative effort to solve the prob lem of rising medical malpractice insurance premiums that some have said are forcing physicians to leave he thereby weakening Texans access to affordable health House Bill 4 was signed by Rick Perry and became law Although I voted for House Bill opposed House Joint Resolu tion or Proposition because it would take away from Texas juries the right to hear all the evi dence in each individual case and then make a decision as to what is based on those unique cir cumstances give to future legislatures the power to set artifi cial and arbitrary limits in all civil not just medical malprac tice and healthrelated I believe Texas juries that have heard all the rather than legislators who have not heard any evidence in your should determine noneconomic dam from you and handed over to the Proposition 12 would do precisely Were all familiar with news stories where juries award huge monetary These stories make the front page because they are abnor We are not so familiar with appellate court decisions which dramatically reduce those with the lawsuits that never come to or the ones in which juries award plaintiffs little or no dam because that happens all the Tort reform is and House Bill 4 will pro is state sena JEFFWINTWORTH Your right to a court decision in such cases is currently guaranteed by the Bill of Rights in the Texas and I do not believe that right should be taken away believe Proposition 13 goes too and I recommend a vote against it I urge you to study each amend ment carefully and then vote ;