Thursday, February 9, 2017

8:00 AM

Betty King Committee Room




Pursuant to a notice posted in accordance with Senate Rule 11.10 and 11.18, a public hearing of the Senate Committee on Nominations was held on Thursday, February 9, 2017, in the Betty King Committee Room at Austin, Texas.







Senator Brian Birdwell, Chair


Senator JosÚ MenÚndez

Senator Kirk Watson, Vice Chair



Senator Dawn Buckingham



Senator Craig Estes



Senator Borris Miles



Senator Van Taylor






The chair called the meeting to order at 8:00 a.m. There being a quorum present, the following business was transacted:


The following member arrived after the roll was called: Senator Borris Miles.


Senator Taylor moved adoption of the minutes from the previous hearing held on February 2, 2017; without objection, it was so ordered.


Before the vote was taken, Senator Watson commented on his request for information from the Secretary of State. This information pertained to the number of complaints filed with the office concerning the November election. It also concerned the number of complaints referred to the office of the Attorney General, as well as the nature of the complaints. In order to receive the requested information, the committee members were required to sign a confidentiality agreement. In consequence, the information could not be presented for the record.

Senator Watson and Senator Taylor agreed that the members should further analyze the information provided by the Office of the Secretary of State.


Senator Estes moved that the committee vote to approve the nominations of the individuals to the following entities: Office of the Secretary of State and the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners. The motion carried with a record vote of 6 ayes, 0 nays, 0 present not voting, and 1 absent.


Chairman Birdwell recognized Senator Huffines and Senator Seliger to co-introduce John Steinmetz, a nominee to the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents, to the members of the committee.


Chairman Birdwell, on behalf of Senator Bettencourt, introduced John Walker, a nominee to the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents, to the members of the committee.


Mr. Steinmetz and Mr. Walker both made opening statements and answered questions from the following members: Senator Estes, Senator Watson, Chairman Birdwell, Senator Miles, and Senator Taylor. Senator Perry offered supporting comments for the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents.


Upon the completion of questions, no public testimony was offered. The nominees to the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents and all non-appearing nominees were left pending before the committee.


There being no further business, at 9:23 a.m., Senator Buckingham moved that the committee stand recessed subject to the call of the chair; without objection, it was so ordered.





Senator Brian Birdwell, Chair




John Ryan Isaacson, Clerk