Newspaper clipping headlined, "White: Put convicts on floor," May 17, 1981
Newspaper clipping headlined, "White: Put convicts on floor," by Gordon Dillow, San Antonio Light, May 17, 1981.
Clippings (information artifacts)
White, Mark, 1940-
"Texas Governor Term 1, 1979-1982"
San Antonio Daily Light (San Antonio, Tex.)
Texas A&M University
Cushing Memorial Library and Archives
"Governor William P. Clements, Jr. Official State Papers, 1st Term, 1979-1983"
General Counsel | 1st term
Texas State library and archives commission
Mark WhiteRuiz v Estelle
Clements Texas Papers
ree weeks: It deadwood creates legislative logjam 1 7 SAN ANTON!O L;CRT '81 AUSTIN -- Wehster's defines "logjam" as "a deadlock&ci jumble of logs in a watercourse" or, simply, "deadlock, blockage." Some in everent Texans may prefer to say, "deadwood," when applying the term to the legislature. But a deadlock or blockage is what the legislative logjam will mean for hundreds of bills that will never make it through the mill between now and adjournment on June 1. There just won't be enough hours in the 22 days and nights remaining. It happens every two years during each regular session. For the first couple of months or so, lawmakers generally put. in three and one- half-day work weeks, only to end up spending .,,ome long evenings and sunny, springtime weekends under the capitol dome to make up for :ost time later. _.111111111••••••11. Clay Robison Chief, The Light's Auslin Bureau provide for new state regulation of low-level nuclear waste. But among issues still unresolved as legislators enter the last three weeks are the new state budget, including pay raises for state employees and school teachers, redistricting, higher education financing, property tax reappraisals, bilingual education, wiretapping, state aid to hospital districts and products liability. Some legislators will try to defeat several of The late-session crunch, however, can't he those proposals, of course. But, win or lose, each blamed entirely on a desire to put off difficult issue will be vying for time. And so will several eecisions. Procedural restrictions in the state hundred other bills, many of a local nature. constitution, the committee process and political considerations are among contributing factors. As it usually does, the logjam will serve as an effective killing device for many measures lacking For the first time in memory, the House this widespread support. .eezir refused to suspend a constitutional rule limiting floor debate during the first 60 days of the 140-day session to bills declared emergencies iv the governor. But even that parliamentary maneuver can't be credited for the long list of .sfinished business, particularly since Gov. Bill -ements put emergency tags on dozens of bills, -ncluding his own legislative proposals, during the ii-st two months of the session. Work on one of the more-critical issues — the apportionment of congressional and legislative eoricts — couldn't get underway in earnest until tt er final 1980 population data were released by isc U.S. Census Bureau in early April. Dozens of bills have made it to the governor's f-sk for signature during the first 17 weeks of le session. Among those have been measures to n.rease the interest rate ceiling on most loans to percent, raise the legal drinking age to 19 and F,77, h 4. "We're just kind of stumbling," one House staffer remarked as she waded through the paperwork. The only way many bills will make it through the legislative process at this late date is with special treatment on "local" or "uncontested" calendars, or agendas. in the House and the Senate. Each body has had several such calendars in recent weeks. State Rep. Jim Nowlin, R-San Antonio, recently complained that he had difficulty hearing debate on the House floor because other legislators continued to drop by his desk for chats. That's because he just happens to be the chairman of the House Committee on Local and Consent Calendars. ut convicts on floor GORDON DILLOW Vr-;). 7 '81 yi Wnter SAN ANT'ln Many Texas citizens believe that more, not -seer, prisoners in the Texas Department of ('or- (Lions prison system should be "put on the 1.-\as Attorney General Mark White said White's remarks, made during a speech at the .xas land Title Association in convention at the iwn Palacio del Rio hotel, were in reference to :eeent federal court order prohibiting the prac- e of assigning several prisoners to a single )n cell, which has resulted in prisoners sleep- en mattresses on cell floors. H a ,t!.olv,ly worded attack on U.S. District iare Wayne Justice's so-called "one n. one toil" court order and on Judge Justice sonally, White said "my mail is running very :4ly to put more of them (the prisoners) on boor." iowever, White, in an interview after the speech. said, he personally is against forcing prisoners to sleep on the floor. He said his re- marks only represents the feelings of "many of the people of this state." During the speech, White said, "70 percent of the people (in the state prison system) are thieves, that's all they are. They've decided they would rather steal than work." The reason prisoners filed suit against the cor- rections system, suits which led to Justice's recent court order. is because they are forced to work while they are in prison, White said. White urged the 150 convention-goers in at- tendance to urge the Reagan administration to make changes in the policies and personnel in the federal justice department. There have been four different administrations in the past seven years, White said, but the policies of the department have remained unchanged during that time. "I'm still fighting the same clowns in the jus- tice department who tell us we have to have pri- vate rooms for prisoners." White eam