Texas Legislature, House of Representatives, Committee of the Whole to Investigate Old Age Assistance:
An Inventory of House of Representatives Committee of the Whole to Investigate Old Age Assistance Hearing Testimony and Report at the Texas State Archives, 1936
The 3rd Called Session of the 44th Texas Legislature convened on September 11, 1936 for the purpose of providing further necessary revenue for old age assistance to qualified applicants. In the previous 2nd Called Session (1935), House Bill 26 was passed, which created the Old Age Assistance Commission, a division of the Texas State Board of Control. The commission's funding derived from liquor, wine and beer taxes in addition to federal funding. A shortfall in expected tax revenue, and the high percentage of elderly requesting assistance, required that additional funding sources be found.
On September 29, 1936, two resolutions were introduced calling for an investigation of Old Age Assistance in Texas. The second resolution, House Simple Resolution 6, provided for the House to resolve itself into a Committee of the Whole to conduct a one-week investigation into the operations of the Old Age Assistance Commission and to seek the opinions of the U.S. Social Security Board.
Hearings were held from September 30 through October 3, 1936. The director of the Old Age Assistance Commission, all members of the commission, and the executive director of the Social Security Board in Washington, D.C. appeared before the House. A final report was filed with the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives on October 6, 1936 and included eight observations. From these facts, it was concluded that revisions of certain statutes would be necessary to redefine the level of need required to obtain old age assistance. Funding for old age assistance was readdressed by the legislature in subsequent years, and the commission was absorbed by the Texas Department of Public Welfare in 1939.
(Sources include: the guide survey completed for this material; the Texas Legislative Reference Library website; and Smyrl, Vivian Elizabeth, "Texas Department of Human Services," The Handbook of Texas Online, both accessed November 20, 2013.)
The Texas House of Representatives Committee of the Whole to Investigate Old Age Assistance was created in 1936 by House Simple Resolution 6 (44th Texas Legislature, 3rd Called Session) to investigate the operations of the Old Age Assistance Commission and to consult with the federal Social Security Board for the purpose of increasing the efficiency of the commission. Records of the committee consist of four days of hearing testimony and a report, 1936. Those testifying at the hearings were employees of the Old Age Assistance Commission, including its executive director and district supervisors, and the U.S. Social Security Board executive director and its director for the region including Texas. The committee's report emphasized that the Old Age Assistance Commission was legally bound to administer aid only to those elderly who demonstrated need consistent with federal definitions, if the commission was to continue to receive federal funding, and that commission employees must meet the qualifications set by federal law. The commission, which had been created in 1935 as a division of the Texas State Board of Control, was eventually absorbed by the Texas Department of Public Welfare in 1939.
To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.
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(Identify the item), Texas House of Representatives Committee of the Whole to Investigate Old Age Assistance hearing testimony and report. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession number: 1982/322
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Texas Secretary of State on May 23, 1940.
Guide survey information compiled by Michael Green, July 1982
Finding aid encoded in EAD Version 2002 as part of the TARO project by Rebecca Romanchuk, November 2013
The committee's hearing testimony and report as printed in the Journal of the Texas House of Representatives, 44th Legislature, 3rd Called Session (1936) are available through the Texas Legislative Reference Library website.
Detailed Description of the Records