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July 8, 1998     (512) 463-0300

JOINT COMMITTEE MEETS IN TYLER - DISCUSS WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT

TYLER - Members of the Joint Interim Committee on Water Resources Development and Management met in a public hearing in Tyler at the Rose Garden Center on Wednesday, July 8. The committee has been conducting hearings around the state to gather information and get a first- hand look at what each region of Texas needs concerning their water supply and conservation. The creation of the committee was based on legislation (Senate Bill 1) passed during the 75th Legislative Session which outlines Texas' first statewide drought management plan.

The committee is co-chaired by Representative Ron Lewis of Mauriceville and Senator J.E. "Buster" Brown of Lake Jackson. Senate members include Ken Armbrister of Victoria, Carlos F. Truan of Corpus Christi, Eddie Lucio of Brownsville, and Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio. Senator Drew Nixon of Carthage also attended Wednesday's hearing.

The committee heard invited testimony on various aspects of Senate Bill 1 from Tyler Mayor Kevin Eltife as well as representatives from the Upper Neches River Authority and the Sabine River Authority. Public testimony followed.

The committee will hold its next meeting in Austin on July 29.

SENATE JURISPRUDENCE COMMITTEE MEETS IN DALLAS

DALLAS - Members of the Senate Jurisprudence Committee met in a public hearing at the Dallas City Council Chambers on Wednesday, July 8, to gather testimony from representatives of both state and county agencies. The committee is responsible for looking into any possible improvements in areas of judicial selection, judicial districting, and civil court filing fees and fine collection. The members are traveling the state and holding hearings in order to study how these issues regarding the Texas judicial system affect different regions.

Members of the committee include Senators Rodney Ellis of Houston (chair), Chris Harris of Arlington, David Cain of Dallas, Robert Duncan of Lubbock, Gregory Luna of San Antonio, Steve Ogden of Bryan, and Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio.

Wednesday's hearing focused on the discussion of criminal fine collections in Texas. Comprising a state panel were representatives from the Office of Court Administration, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and the Comptroller of Public Accounts. Representatives from the Dallas County District Clerk's Office, Brazoria County Collections Department, as well as a Trinity County Judge made up a county panel. The committee also heard from a municipal panel including representatives from the City of Grand Prairie, the Municipal Services Bureau, and the City of Dallas. Public testimony followed.

The committee's next hearing will be on September 10 in Lubbock.

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