Legislative Messages of Hon. James V. Allred, Governor of Texas 1935-1939 Page: 67 of 263
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allowances or benefits payable to the widow, dependent children
or dependent parents and defining who may participate as such
beneficiaries; providing and prescribing the amount of hospitalization
and etc., benefits payable to partly paid or volunteer firemen
in case of accident or temporary disability; providing for and prescribing
the manner of acceptance of provisions of the Act as prerequisite
to participation in benefits thereunder; providing that
benefits under this Act shall not be subject to garnishment, execution,
attachment or other process and shall not be assignable; providing
retired firemen may be recalled to active duty in certain cases; providing
for and prescribing in what cases pensions may be suspended
or forfeited; providing for appeals from the order or decision of the
Board of Firemen's Relief and Pension Fund Trustees to Firemen's
Pension Commissioner and prescribing the manner and procedure for
effecting such appeals; providing for appeal from the Pension Commissioner
to the proper Court in Travis County, Texas; creating
the office of Firemen's Pension Commissioner; providing for and
prescribing his salary, office expenses, etc., duties, powers, etc.;
directing City Attorneys to represent and appear for boards of
Trustees in cases of appeal from decisions of boards; providing for
investment of surplus of the Fund and prorating of benefits when
fund insufficient; defining terms; providing a saving clause; providing
provisions hereof shall be cumulative of and in addition to all
other laws and particularly Articles 6229 and 6243 and Acts amendatory
thereof, and declaring an emergency,"
was regularly passed by the Forty-fourth Legislature in regular session
and is now before me, as Governor, for approval or veto; and
WHEREAS, I have carefully studied this bill and have come to the
conclusion that it is my duty to veto same for the following, among
1. The bill levies a tax of 2% on "all gross insurance premium receipts
collected or received from all fire and other kinds of insurance, except
life insurance," and appropriates proceeds of such tax to a relief and
pension fund for firemen in any incorporated town or city having a
regularly organized fire department with fire equipment or apparatus
of the value of $1,000, or more.
While I personally am in favor of firemen's pensions, I do not believe
it is just or fair to, in effect, levy a tax upon a large class of people
who will not receive any benefit therefrom and a larger class to whom
the benefits will be, at most, indirect. The bill levies this tax of 2%
on all gross premiums of every insurance company, including not only
fire insurance, but "tornado, hail, cyclone, wind-storm, inland marine,
and/or ocean marine insurance. It is difficult to see the relationship
between, for instance, hail or wind insurance, and the obligation of people
who have taken out that character of insurance, in many instances in
the rural districts far removed from any incorporated city or town having
such a fire department, to pay a part of their premiums for pensions for
I recognize, of course, the fact that firemen not only discharge the duties
commonly attributed to them of dealing with fires, but are in many instances
the first called upon for prompt service in case of any kind of
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Allred, James V. Legislative Messages of Hon. James V. Allred, Governor of Texas 1935-1939, book, 1939; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth3899/m1/67/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .