Legislative Messages of Hon. James V. Allred, Governor of Texas 1935-1939 Page: 97 of 263
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He makes the following deductions:
Old Age Assistance paid to August 31, 1936 ....... $2,033,233.00
Administrative Comptroller and Treasurer ....... 30,000.00
Expenses this Commission, furniture, fixtures,
equipment .................................. 31,582.00
Expenses this Commission, general . ............... 517,772.00
Total ....................................... $2,612,587.00
Balance, August 31, 1936 ........................ $1,918,181.00
September payments for old age assistance amounted to a total of
$1,326,294.00, leaving a present balance of $591,887.00, which includes the
permanent old age pension fund of $430,383.00.
Your particular attention is directed to the figures and estimates of the
Executive Director on page 8 of his report. You will note that these estimates
include amounts of money for "retroactive" grants due to the fact
that the old age assistance law provides that when a grant is made upon
an application filed prior to July 1, 1936, the applicant should be entitled to
back payments from July 1st. The Executive Director estimates that a
minimum of $4,277,745.00 state money will be necessary if we are to carry
out the provisions of the present law to January 1, 1937.
These figures are astounding! Indeed, investigations made by the commission,
and I am sure your own experience with our aged citizens reveal
the most challenging needs any Texas Legislature has ever faced. The
need for funds to meet these obligations far exceeds estimates heretofore
made of what would be required under the present law.
You will recall that during the Second Called Session of the Legislature
in 1935, the State Auditor estimated a maximum of sixty thousand people
(out of the 300,000 citizens over 65 in Texas) would probably qualify under
the State old age assistance law. This was based upon the not too revealing
experience of other states which had old age assistance laws; and upon
advice from the Federal Social Security Board. Texas' experience in administering
the present law has already clearly demonstrated that ours is
the most liberal law in the Union; and that a far greater number of people
out of each one thousand inhabitants are qualifying and will continue
to qualify than in any other state. This is due to the several differences
between the Texas law and the laws of other states, pointed out in the
Executive Director's report.
In addition to this, the present acute condition of the old age assistance
fund is due to the fact that the taxes and licenses imposed under the
state liquor law have failed to yield the amount estimated and hoped for
by its proponents. This is particularly true since September 1, 1936, the
date for renewal of permits.
I am sure every member of this Legislature realizes we are here to face
the facts. Those facts are:
First. We are confronted with an absolute emergency need to meet
demands for continued payment of old age assistance warrants beginning
November 1st, and to finance the program until additional taxes levied by
this Legislature can be collected.
This will have to be done promptly so that the Board can certify to the
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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/m1/97/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .