Legislative Messages of Hon. James V. Allred, Governor of Texas 1935-1939 Page: 91 of 263
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October 16, 1935
To the Forty-fourth Legislature of the State of Texas: (In Second Called
The official proclamation calling you into extraordinary session for a
second time sets out the following purposes:
1. To provide, under such limitations and restrictions and regulations
as may be deemed by the Legislature expedient, for old age assistance
and for the payment of same not to exceed $15.00 per month each to
actual bona fide citizens of Texas who are over the age of 65 years,
and in all things to carry out the will of the people as expressed by
the adoption of House Joint Resolution No. 19, which provides for an
amendment to Article 3 of the Constitution of Texas by adopting a
new section to be known as Section 51-E.
2. To provide necessary revenue for such old age assistance.
I hereby submit the above subject matters for immediate attention.
The people overwhelmingly authorized you to establish an old age
pension system. Under his oath to support the Constitution, it is the
duty of every Legislator to carry out the will of the people.
Old age pensions have to be financed by taxes.
I have repeatedly directed your attention to the staggering State
deficit. With one or two small exceptions nothing whatever has been
done towards balancing the budget. Even if a liquor regulation bill
had been passed, the amount of revenues derived would scarcely have
done more than wipe out this deficit over a period of years.
The State Government cannot be carried on, certainly old age pensions
cannot be financed, without additional tax-e. Property taxes must not
be increased. The budget, however, can be balanced, old age pensions
can be financed, without great hurt to anyone if this Legislature will
do its duty. The time has come when we must recognize that all interests
in the State are going to have to contribute more to the far-reaching
future functions of government ordered by the pe3ple.
In asking you to provide and finance old age pensions, I feel justified
in requesting you not to send a bill to my desk without revenues. This
would be unfair to the Executive Department; and if this Government
is to function satisfactorily, neither department must be unfair to the
other. It would be unfair to the people if the Legislature should authorize
old age pensions, yet fail to finance them-a type of politics justly
and surely to be condemned at the polls.
It is only fair to remind you that I have at all times opposed a general
sales tax. This opposition was carried forward into the Democratic
platform because, in the words of the President, "it is a tax on poverty."
A general sales tax remains a "tax on poverty," irrespective of the purpose
for which it is levied. I tell you in advance, therefore, that I will
not approve any bill for a general sales tax on the necessities of life.
Members of the Forty-fourth Iegislature, I cannot too earnestly
emphasize the necessity for immediate, consistent, continued attention to
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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/m1/91/: accessed July 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .