AUSTIN (KXAN) - Former state Sen. Carlos F. Truan, a South Texas Democrat who joined the "Killer Bee" movement that brought action in the chamber to a standstill for several days in 1979, died Tuesday at his home in Corpus Christi.
He was 76.
Truan served 28 years in the Legislature, the last 20 in the Senate. He generally sides with the liberal faction and pushed for more funding for public education, expanded opportunities for minorities and for tighter reins on industrial polluters.
When Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby, also a Democrat who presided over the Senate in the 1970s and 1980s, planned to bring up legislation that would split the Texas primaries in an effort to boost the presidential prospects of former Gov. John Connally, Truan was among a band of senators who bolted.
They feared that having separate primaries for the presidential race and for the state races would allow some Democrats to vote for Connally in the Republican primary, which might have diluted the party's strength. At the time, Democrats dominated Texas politics.
Because 12 senators were unavailable -- it was later learned that they hid out for several days in an Austin garage -- the 31-member chamber did not have the two-thirds of membership in place required by the state Constitution to transact business. Austin Congressman Lloyd Doggett, then a state senator, was also among the Killer Bees.
Finally, Hobby relented and called off a vote on the matter.
During his time in Austin, Truan authored the 1975 Child Care Licensing Act, the Texas Bilingual Education Act and the Interstate Placement of Children Act. He also wrote the Texas Public Housing Authority Act and the Texas Adult Education Act.
Truan, who also was a member of the reform-minded "Dirty Thirty" while serving in the House in 1971, not seek re-election in 2002
Funeral arrangements were pending, but Truan does have a place reserved at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.
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