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Wednesday, February 24, 1999     (512) 463-0300

A MOMENT FROM TEXAS HISTORY

Senators listening as Waco Senator David Sibley reads a letter written 163 years ago
Texas Senators listening as Waco Senator David Sibley on a point of personal priviledge, reads a letter written 163 years ago today, by Colonel William Barrett Travis, Commander of the Alamo.

William B. Travis Letter 1836

Commander of the Alamo
Bexar, February 24, 1836

To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World:

Fellow citizens and compatriots -- I am besieged by a thousand or more of the enemy under San Anna. I have sustained a continual bombardment and cannonade for 24 hours and have not lost a man. The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise the garrison are to be put to the sword if the fort is taken.

I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, and our flag still waves proudly from the walls.

I shall never surrender or retreat.

Then, I call on you in the name of liberty, of patriotism and everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch. The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily and will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days.

If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his honor and that of his country.

Victory or death.

Colonel William Barrett Travis

In Session

AUSTIN - Small businesses in Texas could find out if they will get a tax break this session as early as tomorrow. Lt. Governor Rick Perry says he expects the Senate to take up the Committee Substitute for Senate Bill (CSSB) 148, sponsored by Senator Troy Fraser of Horseshoe Bay, exempting small businesses with earnings of up to $100,000 from the state franchise tax. If CSSB148 passes, those businesses would also be exempt from filling out franchise tax paperwork which they currently must do even if they do not make enough to pay the tax.

In a press conference today, Perry said, "For some businesses this means a real tax cut, for others this means saving a substantial amount of time and money." Perry and Fraser both hope the exemption will help businesses give back to the State of Texas by creating jobs and economic growth. Galena Park Senator Mario Gallegos, Jr. plans to sponsor a floor amendment requiring the Comptroller of Public Accounts to oversee the progress of the tax break, making sure the businesses pay Texas back in the long run and report the results to the 79th Legislature.

In the session today, the Senate passed CSSB 472, an emergency appropriations bill with a $94 million price tag. The Senate allotted money for child protective services, teacher training for the social promotion initiative, drought relief, oyster testing, and other programs included in the legislation sponsored by Senate Finance Committee Chair Bill Ratliff of Mount Pleasant. After a long debate the Senate also passed CSSB 382, as amended, sponsored by Lubbock Senator Robert L. Duncan. That bill would modify the present law requiring that state agencies give reasoned justification for rules they adopt.

In committee action today, the Senate Criminal Justice Committee heard testimony on legislation relating to domestic violence sponsored by Senator Jane Nelson of Flower Mound. The legislative package includes Senate Bill (SB) 23 extending certain emergency protective orders, CSSB 24 increases the penalty for a second assault on a family member, SB 50 extends a protective order from one year to five years, CSSB 461 relates to a defendant's payment to a family violence shelter as a condition of community supervision, and CSSB 588 allows that in a protective order, the court may suspend a license to carry a handgun that is held by a person found to have committed domestic violence.

The Senate will reconvene at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow.

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