SENATE COMMITTEE ON NOMINATIONS 
                             Monday, February 24, 2003 
                           3:00 p.m. or upon adjournment 
                           Capitol Extension, Room E1.016 
         Pursuant to a notice posted in accordance with Senate Rule  
         11.18, a public hearing of the Senate Committee on Nominations  
         was held on Monday, February 24, 2003, in the Capitol Extension,  
         Room E1.016, at Austin, Texas. 
         MEMBERS PRESENT:                        MEMBERS ABSENT: 
         Senator Jon Lindsay                     None 
         Senator Bob Deuell 
         Senator Gonzalo Barrientos 
         Senator John Carona 
         Senator Chris Harris 
         Senator Juan Hinojosa 
         Senator Mike Jackson 
         The chair called the meeting to order at 3:00 p.m.  There being  
         a quorum present, the following business was transacted:   
         The following members arrived after the roll was called:   
         Senator Deuell 
         Senator Hinojosa moved to adopt the minutes from the previous  
         meeting and Senator Jackson 2nd the adoption.  There being no  
         objections the minutes were adopted.  
         The Chairman introduced Senator Harris for an introduction of  
         Gwyn Shea.  She gave her opening remarks and welcomed any  
         Senator Hinojosa asked her to recap her budget, she replied with  
         a breakdown of her 2003 budget and with the gender and ethnic  
         breakdown of the FTE's. 
         Senator Jackson gave a verbal endorsement. 
         Senator Lindsay questioned the percentage of voters who cast  
         ballots on computer type machines and who funds the machines.   
         Shea responded with the figures of: 254 counties had computers,  
         12 counties had punch/lever and 100 had paper.  The machines  
         were certified by the State of Texas, and the County  
         Commissioners generate a list of the machines that can be  
         purchased.  There being no other questions of the committee the  
         motion was passed by 7 ayes and 0 nays. 
         Senator Wentworth introduced Jose Montemayor; Senator Carona  
         gave favorable remarks.  Montemayor gave his opening statement. 
         Senator Barrientos gave his remarks to Montemayor regarding  
         rising homeowners insurance. Barrientos wanted to know how  
         Montemayor handled this situation and how he felt about doing  
         what he did because some said that he made it easier on  
         businesses. In addition, Barrientos asked what Montemayor did to  
         lower rates. Montemayor cited the serious disruption in 2001 of  
         cost premiums because of natural disasters as reason for the  
         rise in rates.  He also stated the need for shock absorption  
         rates. To lower the cost of insurance, he did an examination,  
         profile enforcement and looked at competition.  He had no direct  
         rate authority over 95% and no statutory authority to lower  
         Barrientos questioned the nature of the insurance settlement and  
         then discussed what the settlement money was for.  He requested  
         it in writing, and Montemayor agreed to get the information.   
         Barrientos also questioned who negotiated the settlement and  
         requested specifics.  Montemayor said there were two people from  
         the A.G.'s office, two people from the Insurance Department and  
         two lawyers from Fulbright and Jarwoski (representing Farmers  
         Insurance Exchange and Fire Exchange).  Payment terms were also  
         Montemayor discussed that 100% of the money went back to the  
         consumers, some in a lump sum and others in monthly payments.   
         He also responded to Barrientos' question on why it took one  
         year to get back to a specific complaint. 
         Barrientos asked if Texas had the highest homeowners rates and  
         why.  Montemayor agreed that Texas had high insurance rates and  
         that it was because of the weather catastrophies. 
         Senator Harris questioned affordable insurance for nursing homes  
         and Montemayor replied with statistics.  Senator Harris also  
         asked if his job would be made less difficult if the Legislature  
         gave him more authority  and Montemayor's reply was yes.   
         Senator Harris gave verbal approval of his tenure. 
         Senator Hinojosa also asked what Montemayor needed in order to  
         have more power and he said he needed more visibility of rates  
         and the ability to challenge rates.  The Senator also asked  
         about high risk rates and wanted him to close loop holes.  He  
         Senator Lindsay questioned medical malpractice and how the  
         numbers have increased  Montemayor agreed to issue a report to  
         Senator Lindsay.   
         Senator Hinojosa discussed a class action lawsuit in his  
         Senator Barrientos discussed the Farmers Insurance court order  
         and requested that information in writing.   
         There being no other questions the Chairman requested that this  
         nomination be held temporarily. 
         Texas Commission on Environmental Quality nominee, Kathleen  
         White, was introduced by Senator Madla. She gave her opening  
         statement and welcomed any questions.   
         Senator Barrientos discussed the fees for pollutants and how  
         they have gone up; White was not aware of the details of the  
         Senator Hinojosa gave an example of a chemical plant response in  
         his district and offered her some friendly advice about how her  
         commission needed to relay information to people faster, through  
         better communication. 
         Senator Jackson confirms that the TCEQ is the second largest  
         Environmental Commission behind the EPA.  He was curious if  
         White thought it would be difficult to police the industry as it  
         got larger, and she agreed, giving him fee statistics.   
         There being no other questions, the nominee was confirmed with 7  
         ayes and 0 nays.     
         Senator Carona introduced Geraldine "Tincy" Miller; she gave her  
         opening remarks.   
         Senator Hinojosa questioned the allegations of mismanagement of  
         the Board, and she replied that the permanent school fund was  
         the best in the state and top 20% in the United States.    
         Irrespective to personalties, they had the best performing funds  
         and that she had no factual evidence of impropriety with any  
         members. Senator Hinojosa stated that there were three separate  
         entities that found misappropriation of funds and he asked what  
         measure had been taken to correct it;  she replied that they had  
         investment advisors, and they had passed an ethics policy. 
         Senator Hinojosa questioned her campaign endorsements and  
         politics.  She began to explain her opposition to a specific  
         candidate and her endorsement of another.  
         Senator Barrientos asked her about some allegations that had  
         been printed in the Austin American-Statesman about mismanaged  
         funds, the rejecting of honor science texts, her husbands  
         membership on a board, and moral issues.  She replied that she  
         had nothing to do with the mismanaged funds, did not vote on the  
         science text, her husband did indeed sit on the board.  He also  
         questioned what she thought of bilingual education; her reply  
         was that it was great,  and it appears that the program is well  
         funded but she did not know for sure.  He also questioned her  
         opinion on Robinhood.   
         Miller then explained why she is on the Board and questioned the  
         1.50 cap.   
         Senator Lindsay read two letters of support from Jack Campbell  
         and Kathy Ward. 
         Barrientos requested to hold the nominee for one week and  
         Senator Lindsay declined to grant the request.   
         There being no other questions, a vote was taken, there being 5  
         ayes, 1 nay and 1 present not voting, the nominee was confirmed.   
         Chairman Lindsay introduced Patrick Cordero, who gave his  
         opening remarks.  Senator Barrientos asked if he thought the TIF  
         should be extended, and asked where the funds where spent.  He  
         replied that 48% was spent on hardware. 
         Senator Deuell asked if he was surprised at the entities  
         receiving TIF Funds and he said no.  Senator Jackson asked if he  
         had served at any of the meetings taking place, he had not.   
         There being no other questions a vote was taken, there being 5  
         ayes and 0 nays, the nominee was confirmed. 
         Senator Janek introduced Macedonio Villarreal with the Texas  
         Dept of Economic Development. He gave his opening remarks and  
         then Hector Delgado and Thomas Whaley did the same.   
         After brief questioning, the nominees were voted on, with 6 ayes  
         and 0 nays, the nominees were confirmed.  
         The Chairman asked for a motion to confirm the State Committee  
         of Examiners in the Fitting and Dispensing of Hearing  
         Instruments, Board of Lease of Texas Parks and Wildlife Lands,  
         Texas Mutual Insurance Company Board, Texas State Board of  
         Plumbing Examiners, Polygraph Examiners Board, Real Estate  
         Research Advisory Committee, Office of State-Federal Relations,  
         Commission on Uniform State Laws, and State Board of Veterinary  
         Medical Examiners.  There being no questions, all nominees were  
         adopted with 5 ayes and 0 nays.  
         There being no other business at 6:09, Chairman Lindsay  
         announced the committee would stand in recess subject to the  
         call of the chair.  There being no objections, the committee  
         Senator Jon Lindsay, Chair 
         Tanya Tillman, Committee Clerk