The Texas State Senate News
AUSTIN - On Friday, September 26, members of the Senate Interim Committee on Electric Utility Restructuring met in an organizational meeting at the State Capitol. Chaired by Senator David Sibley of Waco, the committee heard regulatory updates from Pat Wood, Chair of the Public Utility Commission, and testimony on Electric Utility Restructuring Issues. The committee includes Senators Ken Armbrister of Victoria, David Cain of Dallas, Gonzalo Barrientos of Austin, Teel Bivins of Amarillo, Troy Fraser of Horseshoe Bay, and Jane Nelson of Flower Mound.
BULLOCK ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL INTERIM APPOINTEES AND SUPPLEMENTAL CHARGES
AUSTIN - On Thursday, September 25, Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock issued additional appointee lists and supplemental charges for the 75th Legislative Interim.
Bullock appointed Senator David Sibley of Waco to an open seat on the Research and Oversight Council. Sibley will serve alongside Senators Ken Armbrister of Victoria and Bill Ratliff of Mount Pleasant, both current council members, to monitor the state's worker's compensation system and make recommendations for possible legislative changes.
Bullock named Senators John Carona of Dallas and Chris Harris of Arlington as new members to the Legislative Council and renewed the terms of current members Carlos F. Truan of Corpus Christi, Gonzalo Barrientos of Austin, and Royce West of Dallas. The Legislative Council conducts research, provides information to lawmakers on state issues and assists in preparing legislation.
The Interagency Council for the Homeless, a 20-member panel which evaluates services for the homeless, will now include Robert Martindale who serves as executive director of San Antonio Metropolitan Ministries. The panel is comprised of those appointed by the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House.
Senator Steve Ogden of Bryan will serve a six-year term on the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science Advisory Board. The nine-member committee reviews admission policies, curricula and other policies at the learning institution located at the University of North Texas at Denton.
Bullock appointed Senator Teel Bivins of Amarillo to the 11-member Interscholastic League Advisory Council. The council reviews UIL rules for possible recommendations on changes to UIL leadership, the office of the Governor and the Legislature.
Dee Simpson, employed by the American Federal, State, County and Municipal Employees, was appointed to serve on the Group Benefits Advisory Committee. The group is made up of 26 voting members and one non-voting member and makes recommendations concerning most state employee benefits. The committee also coordinates the Employee Uniform Group Insurance Program.
Dr. Shirley Poduslo and Dr. Leonard Morgan have been appointed to serve a term of six years on the Texas Council on Alzheimer's Disease & Related Disorders. Both are professors at the Texas Tech University Health Science Center in Lubbock and will assist in providing support services to those who suffer from Alzheimer's and other diseases while promoting research into prevention and treatment of them as well.
Senator Jane Nelson of Flower Mound will serve a second term on the Texas Cancer Council. The 16-member panel oversees the implementation of the Texas Cancer Plan and modifications to it as well as the development and management of state policies and services for cancer patients.
Bullock appointed Senator J.E. "Buster" Brown of Lake Jackson to serve on the Edwards Aquifer Legislative Oversight Committee. Credited with creating the first statewide water plan, Senator Brown will serve on the panel with Senators Frank Madla of San Antonio and Ken Armbrister of Victoria. The committee will examine state and local efforts to comply with legislation that established the Edwards Aquifer Authority in 1993 and will report its findings to the Legislature in 1999.
Dr. Maurice G. Wilkinson of Shiner will serve a second term on the Primary Care Residency Advisory Committee.
Dallas attorney John Collins will serve a second term on the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Board. The 6-member board administers a fund used primarily for education projects using computer links and other advancements.
Bullock appointed H. Bartell Zachary to the Transportation Public Advisory Committee. A San Antonio businessmen, Zachary will assist in advising the Texas Transportation Commission in funding and planning issues.
Paul Gulick, Bullock's special assistant on technology, will serve along other representatives from various state agencies on the Texas Geographic Information Council. The council is designed to advise on technological issues to the Texas Water Development Board and the Texas Department of Information Resources.
Senator Rodney Ellis of Houston will serve as Chair of the Workforce Development Legislative Oversight Committee along with Senator Robert Duncan of Lubbock and senior aide Jose Camacho. The workforce committee will examine proposals by the Texas Workforce Commission for consideration during the legislative session in 1999.
Bullock appointed his wife, Jan Felts Bullock, to join First Lady Laura Bush and Nelda Laney as ex-officio members of the Inaugural Endowment Fund. The panel oversees preservation efforts, furnishings and decorations at the Capitol and other historic and state properties.
Five members of the press along with Senator Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio will chosen to serve on the Elections Advisory Committee. Serving the committee for two years are Houston Chronicle Editor jack Loftis, San Antonio Express-News Political Editor Bruce Davidson, KTRH radio reporter Darrell Azar, KVUE-TV reporter Danny Hermasillo, and Dallas Morning News bureau chief Wayne Slater.
Ted Sparling and Myrna Pickard were named to serve on the executive committee of the Center for Rural Health. Sparling is an associate health care management professor at Trinity University and Pickard is a professor at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Nursing.
Senators Royce West of Dallas and Rodney Ellis of Houston have been appointed as ex-officio members to the Texas Emancipation Juneteenth Cultural and Historical Commission.
Bullock appointed Senator John Whitmire of Houston to serve on the Private Sector Prison Industries Oversight Committee which oversees the operations, fee structures, benefits, and requirements for inmates working in programs sponsored by the private sector.
Senators David Sibley of Waco and Eliot Shapleigh of El Paso have been selected to work with the Texas Education Agency on a computer network panel in order to study public school computer networks.
Senator David Sibley of Waco will serve on the Advisory Commission on State Emergency Communications which oversees the administration and operations of a statewide 911 emergency communications network.
Senators Michael Galloway of The Woodlands and Steve Ogden of Bryan will help coordinate the state's centennial celebration of the Spindletop oil field in Beaumont.
Senators Robert Duncan of Lubbock and Rodney Ellis of Houston will serve on the Texas Judicial Council.
Bullock appointed Glenn Edward West of Austin to serve on the Texas Manufacturing Institute Governing Board. West is the president of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce and will join the board in studying the manufacturing industry and the challenges it faces in Texas.
Bullock chose Susan Noell, a Legislative Budget Board manager, to serve on the Human Resource Task Force. She will assist in refining personnel and information policies, coordinating training programs between state agencies and revising human resources policy.
Senator J.E. "Buster" Brown of Lake Jackson has been chosen to serve on the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission which reviews conservation efforts in the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas coast.
The Senate Interim Committee on Housing has yet another charge in front of them. Bullock asked the committee, chaired by Senator Eddie Lucio of Brownsville, to monitor developments in federal legislation to transfer responsibility for federal housing programs to Texas. The committee includes Senators Carlos F. Truan of Corpus Christi, Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio, Rodney Ellis of Houston, and Florence Shapiro of Plano.