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July 14, 1998     (512) 463-0300


HOUSTON - Members of the Special Senate Committee on Hopwood met at the University of Houston Hilton for a public hearing on Tuesday, July 14. The committee, comprised of six senators and other state officials, is responsible for studying the Hopwood ruling (Hopwood v. State of Texas, 1996) which challenged affirmative action policies in areas of education and employment. Tuesday's hearing focused on invited testimony from representatives who stressed the importance of higher education.

Senators serving on the committee include Frank Madla of San Antonio, Gonzalo Barrientos of Austin, Robert Duncan of Lubbock, Rodney Ellis of Houston, Teel Bivins of Amarillo, and Bill Ratliff of Mount Pleasant. The committee is chaired by former Houston mayor, Bob Lanier. Also sitting in on Tuesday's hearing was Senator Mario Gallegos of Houston.

The hearing in Houston begins a series of meetings the committee will hold across the state in order to gain input from Texans regarding the charges. Those testifying in Houston stressed the importance of education at all levels and described ways in which the committee could help support programs that would encourage and provide education opportunities. Several witnesses encouraged the formation of an advertising campaign that would promoting eduhigerher education and its .

The committee will hold its next meeting incontinue its meetings with a public hearing in San Antonio on August 18.kassets.