Newspaper clipping headlined: "Critics slam Clements' session call", May 23, 1982
Newspaper clipping headlined: "Critics slam Clements' session call", News-Messenger, May 23, 1982, wherein Clements calls a special legislative session in order to repeal the state property tax, but critics feel that prison overcrowding is the real legislative emergency.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Prisons--Overcrowding--Law and legislationProperty tax
"Texas Governor Term 1, 1979-1982"
Texas A&M University
Cushing Memorial Library and Archives
"William P. Clements Campaign Records, 1977-1989"
Cushing Memorial Library & Archives
Clements Texas Papers
• Critics slam Clements' AUSTIN — Legislators convene in special session Monday to take care of some three- year-old unfinished business. Critics claim it is a waste of time and money. Gov. Bill Clements wrote the agenda: reprat-c(f-trnrsVol5Frty tax, which, for the most part, exists in name only. Pre-session signs, however, point to prison construction money as the real legislative emergency. Both issues could produce unfavorable political fallout for Clements, who is running for re-election this year. The 1979 Legislature virtually eliminated the state property tax when it set the assess- ment ratio at 0.0001 percent. the equivalent of a $1 tax on $1 billion worth of property. Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls and five other colleges that had depended on the tax for construction money filed a lawsuit, contending that only the voters at a statewide election — not the Legislature —t could "repeal" a . tax established by the Texas Constitution. The trial was scheduled for June 2. Clements reportedly felt the state would lose the suit, which could force Texans to pay UM million in back property taxes, so he called lawmakers backed to Austin to repeal the tax. He also favors a one-time ap- propriation for 17 colleges that missed out on construction money, with the search for a permanent fund left to the 1983 Legislature. Critics noted that the governor called the special session despite an offer by plaintiffs to postpone the suit until July 1983, which would give the 1983 Legislature time to find a solution. • session call Sen. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, said Clements "wants to create the illusion of (tax ) relief by repealing a tax that's not be- ing collected." What to do about packed prisons — a topic Sen. Oscar Mauzy, 1)-Dallas, calls the "true emergency" — could overshadow repeal of the property tax and extend the session. So many inmates were flowing from coun- ty jails into the state prison system that the prison board closed the gates for a few days- to avoid violating a federal court order. Early release of low-risk prisoners tem- porarily corrected the problem, but it does not appear that it will go away. Clements said he would wait until he sees a prison board report, probably Monday. to decide whether to let legislators vote on more money for buildings and guards • ••••••••••=11111Millk._ Clements "wants to create the illusion of (tax) relief by repealing a tax that's not being collected." —Sen. Lloyd Doggett 11E VViST.5t, Ad7,1.R ILV=. 7670: News Mes,enger Marshall. Texas MY 2 1982 ac%