SENATE COMMITTEE ON NOMINATIONS 
                             Monday, February 21, 2005 
                           2:00 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 21, 2005, 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 Kevin Eltife 
         Senator Mike Jackson 
         Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. 
         Senator Jane Nelson 
         The chair called the meeting to order at 2:15 p.m.  There being  
         a quorum present, the following business was transacted:   
         The following members arrived after the roll was called:   
         Senator Eltife at 2:16, Senator Jackson at 2:19 and Senator  
         Barrientos at 2:25. 
         Senator Lindsay moved adoption of the minutes from the previous  
         hearing; without objection, it was so ordered. 
         Chairman Lindsay announced to the committee that, because of  
         time constraints, introductions of the appearing nominees by  
         their respective Senators would occur as the Senators were  
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Senator Tommy Williams. Senator  
         Williams introduced his constituent, the Honorable Henry Hollis  
         Horton, III, appointed to serve as Justice of the 9th 
         Court of Appeals, Beaumont. 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Senator Lucio who introduced his  
         constituent, Judge J. Rolando Olvera, appointed to the Texas  
         Lottery Commission  (TLC). 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Senator Kel Seliger. Senator Seliger  
         introduced his constituents Jose Cuevas,  nominee to the Texas  
         Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) and Victor Leal, nominee to  
         the Texas Building and Procurement Commission (TBPC). 
         The Chair recognized Senator Florence Shapiro to introduce her  
         constituent Brenda Pejovich, chair of the Texas Building and  
         Procurement Commission. 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized the Honorable H. Hollis Horton and  
         asked him his thoughts on the 9th Court of Appeals. Judge Horton  
         said historically, it has been a three judge court but on  
         January 1st, 2005, it became a four judge court. He also said he  
         understood the talk is to take out Angelina county. Chairman  
         Lindsay asked him if it was logical to put Montgomery county in  
         the 1st or 14th; Judge Horton replied that Montgomery and  
         Jefferson counties were the two largest counties with Montgomery  
         county handling 20-30 percent of the case load, so it would  
         depend upon the case loads. Chairman Lindsay asked if Horton  
         anticipated any problems with the system, Horton answered that  
         the three man panel was randomly drawn out of the four man pool 
          and so far it has worked out well. 
         The Chair recognized Senator Barrientos. Senator Barrientos  
         asked Judge Horton if he was able to travel and Horton replied  
         he had been to Jasper and Montgomery counties since Jan. 1.  
         Senator Barrientos asked if the case load was a problem, Horton  
         said with the addition of this position they should not have to  
         transfer any cases out. Barrientos asked Judge Horton his views  
         on non-partisan elections of judges and Horton replied that  
         partisanship and fundraising were inherent problems and it would  
         be ideal if we did not require partisan elections. Judge Horton  
         also advised the committee that his court would not hear  
         abortion cases since they were under federal jurisdiction and  
         that the vast majority of his appellate cases were criminal.  
         Senator Barrientos questioned him about his stock holdings in  
         Walmart de Mexico and Abercrombie and Fitch to which Horton  
         replied his stock in Walmart de Mexico was the result of a  
         spin-off from Walmart and that he has disposed of the vast  
         majority of his stocks. 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Senator Nelson who asked Horton  
         about other ways to attract judges to the bench besides  
         increasing their pay. Judge Horton said that legislation to  
         decrease the amount of time consuming reporting of campaign  
         contributions would help. 
         Chairman Lindsay asked for a motion and Senator Nelson moved  
         that a vote be taken. At 2:45 p.m. the committee voted by 7 ayes  
         to 0 nays to recommend Judge Horton be confirmed by the full  
         Chairmen Lindsay recognized Senator Wentworth. Senator Wentworth  
         introduced John Steen who was reappointed to the Texas Alcoholic  
         Beverage Commission. 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized the Honorable J. Rolando Olvera, a  
         former state district judge and commissioner of the Texas  
         Lottery Commission. The Chair asked Olvera whether he took a  
         position on eight-liners and whether the Lottery Commission  
         could oversee video lottery terminals (VLTs). Judge Olvera  
         replied as commissioner, he was not here to take a position but  
         felt confident that the staff could handle VLTs. He informed the  
         committee that eight-liners were not within the scope of the  
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Senator Nelson who asked Judge  
         Olvera how he saw the role of a commissioner. Olvera's reply was  
         that he saw their role as not to legislate or advocate, but to  
         regulate. Senator Nelson asked about the cost of regulation.  
         Olvera said the TLC never contracted with the Las Vegas firm for  
         their expertise; Nelson expressed concern that the commission  
         lacked expertise if they were trying to recruit help from Nevada  
         and that she was uncomfortable giving the TLC gaming oversight. 
         The Chair recognized Senator Barrientos who asked about the  
         commission's budget. Olvera said it was around $185 million with  
         the lottery accounting for $183 million and bingo bringing in   
         $2.5  million. Senator Barrientos asked if we should regulate  
         and tax extra-curricular gambling, Olvera answered that most  
         were illegal so we could not legally regulate and tax because of  
         loopholes in the penal code. Senator Barrientos posed a  
         hypothetical question about whether a non-citizen could win the  
         lottery if they could not furnish an address, Olvera said that  
         holding the winning ticket was all that was necessary for  
         someone to prove they won. Judge Olvera added that the bingo  
         industry was suffering because of a 25 year old Bingo Enabling  
         Act that prohibits competition and informed the committee that a  
         legislative act is necessary to change the situation. He  
         mentioned a series of recommendations that the TLC has regarding  
         bingo; Senator Barrientos asked him for a copy of these  
         Chairman Lindsay asked if it was difficult to conduct business  
         if they must always meet in an open forum as a three member  
         commission. Judge Olvera said he thought if it ain't broke,  
         don't fix it. 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized witnesses for Judge Olvera who were  
         registered but not testifying. 
         At 3:17 p .m, there being no quorum, no vote was taken on the  
         nomination of  Judge Olvera. 
         The Chair recognized the nominees to the Texas Alcoholic  
         Beverage Commission, John Steen and Jose Cuevas and asked them  
         if they had any problems because of the open meeting  
         requirement. Steen said it was difficult because they were  
         always forced to go through staff which was sometimes very  
         unproductive. He added that an executive session was an awkward  
         way to do business. Cuevas said it was difficult, not  
         impossible, to conduct business but added that a five member  
         board would allow them to talk to each other. 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Senator Barrientos who asked the  
         nominees about the budget. 
         Steen quoted the budget at $30 million with 580 FTEs. Cuevas  
         said they were short by 119 FTEs  
         according to Sunset recommendations. 
         Chairman Lindsay asked for a clarification on whether it would  
         require a legislative act to change the rules on after hours  
         At 3:35 p. m., there being no quorum, no vote was taken on the  
         nominees to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized the nominees to the Texas Building  
         and Procurement Commission. He began by introducing  
         Commissioners James Duncan and Victor Leal and recognized  
         Senator Ken Armbrister to introduce Commissioner Betty Reinbeck.  
         Chair Brenda Pejovich had been previously introduced by Senator  
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Senator Barrientos who asked about  
         the budget for TBPC and how well they get along with other  
         agencies. Commissioner Duncan's reply was that the budget was  
         $47.6 million with 375 FTEs and 213 contract employees. He said  
         that not everyone was happy with them because they were in the  
         position as landlord but they were focusing on being a client  
         agency servicer. Senator Barrientos asked Chairwoman Pejovich  
         about HUBs. Pejovich answered saying the contract gave them the  
         access role to administer, audit and report to the state. She  
         informed the committee that the disparity study was funded with  
         emergency appropriations. Commissioner Leal said the  
         commission's charge was always to do better and Commissioner  
         Reinbeck answered that the challenge was to get and keep the  
         best workforce. 
         Senator Barrientos asked about the state funded daycare that was  
         under the watch of the TBPC and that lost $20,000 of parents'  
         money. Pejovich said their advisory committee's proposal for a  
         new provider is  due next month. Leal said perhaps they were not  
         the best suited to handle the daycare and suggested another  
         agency might be better equipped. Senator Barrientos asked the  
         panel of nominees to do some research and provide their results  
         in writing to the committee. 
         Chairman Lindsay asked for a motion and Senator Barrientos moved  
         that a vote be taken on all the appearing nominees. At 4:01 p.m.  
         by a vote of 7 ayes to 0 nays, all appearing nominees were  
         passed through for full confirmation by the Senate. 
         Senator Jackson moved to vote on all non-appearing nominees. At  
         4:04 p. m., all nominees from the following entities were  
         recommended for full confirmation by Senate: Judge of the 224th  
         Judicial District, Presiding Judges from the Sixth, Ninth, First  
         and Fourth Administrative Judicial Regions, the Texas State  
         Board of Dietitians, The State Board of Medical Examiners,  
         District Two Review Committee, the Texas Board of Licensure for  
         Professional Medical Physicists, the State Pension Review Board,  
         the Polygraph Examiners Board, the Texas State Board of  
         Examiners of Psychologists, the Texas Council on Purchasing From  
         People with Disabilities and the Texas State Board of Social  
         Worker Examiners. 
         There being no more business, Chairman Lindsay recessed the  
         committee subject to the call of the chair. 
         Senator Jon Lindsay, Chair                                            
         Jazen Wood, Clerk