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November 19, 1999     (512) 463-0300

Senate Special Committee on Border Affairs Held Joint Public Hearing with Committee on State Affairs

EL PASO - The Senate Special Committee on Border Affairs and the Committee on State Affairs held a joint public hearing Friday, November 19, 1999 in the Neill Auditorium, College of Business Building, at the University of Texas at El Paso.

The Senate Special Committee on Border Affairs is chaired by Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr., of Brownsville, vice-chaired by Senator David Sibley of Waco, and its members include Senators Teel Bivins of Amarillo, Robert Duncan of Lubbock, Eliot Shapleigh of El Paso, Carlos Truan of Corpus Christi, and Judith Zaffirini of Laredo.

The Committee on State Affairs is chaired by Senator Florence Shapiro of Plano, vice-chaired by Senator Eliot Shapleigh of El Paso, and its members include Senators David Bernsen of Beaumont, J.E. "Buster" Brown of Lake Jackson, David Cain of Dallas, Tom Haywood of Wichita Falls, Eddie Lucio, Jr., of Brownsville, Drew Nixon of Carthage, and Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio.

The two committees met together on Friday in order to hear further testimony relating to issues raised by witnesses testimony given on Thursday for charges four, three, two, five issued by Lieutenant Governor Rick Perry.

After welcoming remarks by El Paso Mayor Carlos Ramirez, Committee business pertained to testimony given by a range of state and city organizations. Dr. Bernard Weinstein with the Center for Economic Development and Research, University of North Texas, spoke on economic trends relating to transportation needs.

Dr. Katherine Turnbull, Associate Director for the Texas Transportation Institute, David Laney, Chair of the Texas Transportation Commission, Charles W. Heald, Executive Director of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and Al Luedecke, Director of Transportation Planning and Programming Division of TxDOt, all touched on issues relating to intermodal duties and functions of their agencies.

Roy Gilyard, Director for the Metropolitan Planning Organization of El Paso, along with County Judge Delores Briones, discussed transportation plans for the El Paso area. Al Luedecke, Thomas Doebner, Director of Funds Management for TxDOT and Maribel Chavez, District Engineer for TxDOT explained their roles, plans and funding. Don Brady, Vice President of TransCore, discussed his company's trade corridor and border crossing systems.

Kathleen Walker, with the El Paso Foreign Trade Association, and Terry Lee Scott, Director for El Paso Sun Metro gave testimony relating to El Paso transportation issues and local initiatives.

The committees will submit their findings in the form of a report to be presented to the 77th Legislature which will convene in January of 2001.

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