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May 19, 1998     (512) 463-0300

SENATE PUBLIC INFORMATION COMMITTEE HOLDS PUBLIC HEARING IN HARLINGEN

HARLINGEN - The Senate Interim Committee on Public Information held a public hearing at Texas State Technical College in Harlingen on Tuesday, May 19. The committee is responsible for examining the state's open government process to determine if the exchange of public records could be improved for the benefit of all Texans.

Committee members include Senators Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio as chair, Ken Armbrister of Victoria, John Whitmire of Houston, John Carona of Dallas, and Eliot Shapleigh of El Paso.

The meeting consisted of invited testimony regarding public access to accident reports and restriction of access to information contained in state motor vehicle records. Lyle Debort, publisher of The Valley Morning Star, provided valuable insight into these issues. Public testimony on other committee charges was given by Brenda Lee Huerta, news director of KGBT spanish radio, and representatives of both the Harlingen Police Department and the city of McAllen.

The committee's next meeting will be held at the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex in June. The committee will present a final report to the 76th Legislature which convenes in January of next year.

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