Governor's Message to the 56th legislature. Page: 5 of 41
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Twenty-three years later when General Houston addressed the Legislature
as Governor, things were not in much better shape. He said in his message:
"Not a dollar has been at (my) command for months. .. Treasury warrants are
already selling at a heavy discount.. " He complained that Comanche Indians
were threatening within 50 miles of the Capitol.
A short time later, with our Nation and our State split asunder by a civil
war, Governor Lubbock, in his message to the 9th Texas Legislature, said:
"No Legislature of any State has ever been called
upon to act under more embarrassing circumstances...
The State Government is absolutely without a dollar."
After the War Between the States and carpetbag rule had ravished our
State, Governor Richard Coke told the 14th Legislature: "That the Treasury is
empty we know to be a fact."
In 1905 Governor Lanham in his message to the 29th Legislature said:
"There is now and for some time has been a deficiency
in our revenues, and the Treasury is unable to meet the
warrants of the State upon presentation."
Thirty-eight years later Governor Coke Stevenson, while I held the
gavel on this rostrum as the Speaker of this House, told the 48th Legislature,
"We now have a deficit of approximately $31 million in the General Fund. "
Only 12 years later, Governor Allan Shivers reported to the 54th Legislature
that the Comptroller estimated a $61 million deficiency for the ensuing
biennium and said that the Legislature "faces more problems of major import
than have confronted any other session during the Twentieth Century. " During
the first five years of this decade, there were four separate annual tax increases
totalling more than $134 million. In the last four years no new taxes have been
levied. It is the longest period since 1950 without substantial increases in taxes,
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Price, Daniel. Governor's Message to the 56th legislature., book, January 21, 1959; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5870/m1/5/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .