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Monday, February 8, 1999     (512) 463-0300

The Texas State Senate News

AUSTIN - Child support and protection issues are making their way out of the Senate Jurisprudence Committee towards the Senate floor. Four bills, Senate Bills (SB) 118,136,147, and 294, all sponsored by Arlington Senator Chris Harris, were heard in committee this afternoon. Harris amended SB 147 to prevent the courts from designating a primary physical residence for a child where there is a history of child neglect or physical or sexual abuse by a parent against another parent, spouse or a child.

SB 118, which relates to the payment of child support, was left pending in committee. The legislation requires that defendants convicted of failure to pay child support should make payments to the appropriate agency rather than directly to the recipient. Senator Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio mentioned that record keeping is important but the people who deserve the money are getting it faster the way things are now.

The Senate Committee on Electric Utility Restructuring is trying to work out the problems in SB 7. Today they discussed necessary conditions for utility competition. Public Utility Commission (PUC) Chair Pat Wood testified that without enough companies to make a good market, Texas may be better off with the current system. Wood expressed concerns that the less populated areas of Texas would have fewer options and services.

SB 290, the bill providing a temporary severance tax exemption for small oil producers, will be debated the Senate floor tomorrow morning. Lt. Governor Rick Perry said it will likely pass easily through the Senate tomorrow, "This is not some welfare program for rich oil, big oil. There are real faces, real men and women all across the state of Texas." Perry said the Legislature is trying to find innovative ways to help suffering agriculture and oil businesses.

Events

  1. 2/9/99, Tuesday - Finance Committee Public Hearing at 9:00 a.m. in the Capitol Extension, room E1.036
  2. 2/9/99, Tuesday - Economic Development Committee Public Hearing at 9:00 a.m. in 2E.20/Lt. Gov. Committee Room
  3. 2/9/99, Tuesday - Health Services Committee Public Hearing at 1:30 p.m. or upon adjournment, in the Capitol Extension, room E1.016
  4. 2/9/99, Tuesday - Natural Resources Committee Public Hearing at 2:00 p.m. in the Senate Chamber
  5. 2/10/99, Wednesday - Human Services Committee Public Hearing at 8:30 a.m. in the Senate Chamber
  6. 2/10/99, Wednesday - Finance Committee Public Hearing at 9:00 a.m. in the Capitol Extension, room E1.036
  7. 2/10/99, Wednesday - Intergovernmental Relations Committee Public Hearing at 9:00 a.m. in the Capitol Extension, room E1.028
  8. 2/10/99, Wednesday - Administration Committee Public Hearing at 10:00 a.m. or upon adjournment of the Senate in the Capitol Extension, room E1.714
  9. 2/10/99, Wednesday - Education Committee Public Hearing at 11:00 a.m. or 30 minutes upon adjournment in the Capitol Extension, room E1.012
  10. 2/10/99, Wednesday - Nominations Committee Public Hearing at 1:00 p.m. in 2E.20/Lt. Gov. Committee Room
  11. 2/11/99, Thursday - Border Affairs Special Committee Public Hearing at 8:30 a.m. in 2E.20/Lt. Gov. Committee Room
  12. 2/11/99, Thursday - Finance Committee Public Hearing at 9:00 a.m. in the Capitol Extension, room E1.036

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