SENATE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE 
                              Thursday, February 8, 2001 
                                      8:00 p.m. 
                            Capitol Extension, Room E1.036 
     Pursuant to a notice posted in accordance with Senate Rule 11.18, a public  
     hearing of the Senate Committee on Finance was held on Thursday, February  
     8, 2001, in the Capitol Extension, Room E1.036, at Austin, Texas. 
     MEMBERS PRESENT:                            MEMBERS ABSENT: 
     Senator Rodney Ellis                         
     Senator Chris Harris 
     Senator Gonzalo Barrientos 
     Senator Robert Duncan 
     Senator Troy Fraser 
     Senator Tom Haywood 
     Senator Mike Jackson                         
     Senator Jon Lindsay 
     Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr.                     
     Senator Steve Ogden                          
     Senator Carlos Truan 
     Senator John Whitmire                        
     Senator Judith Zaffirini 
     The chair called the meeting to order at 8:00 p.m.  There being a quorum  
     present, the following business was transacted:   
     Senator Zaffirini in the chair. 
     The Chair recognized the following witnesses to testify on the Legislative  
     Budget Board (LBB) recommendations: 
          Commission for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing 
          Melitta Bustamante, LBB Analyst 
          Eva D. Williams, Chairman of the Board 
               Introduced Executive Director and spoke briefly about the  
          David W. Myers, Executive Director 
              Gave an overview of Commission.  Spoke to proposed budget and  
              exceptional items and  need for additional funds.  Spoke to the  
              surprise when seeing the LBB recommendations. 
          Tim Rarus, Director of CSD 
               Spoke of the needs of people that are deaf.  Answered questions. 
          Billy Collins, Director of Programs 
               Answered questions. 
          Susan S. Tiller, Executive Director, Corpus Christi 
              Spoke to needs for increased funding and some of the programs  
              they have instituted.  Answered questions.  
          Teresa Minchew, Executive Director, Highlands Council for the Deaf 
               Overview of their program and need for increased programs and  
          Ettalois L. Johnson, Self, Librarian    
              Need increased services and increased funding.  Spoke to the  
              stress that people experience when they loose their hearing.   
              Better regional services and better assimilated information.   
              Answered questions. 
          Dennis Borel, Coalition of Texans with Disabilities 
              Spoke to what Texas is currently doing the need to do more.   
              Spoke to the STAP program. The demand is far greater than what is  
              being funding.   
          Charlene Kennedy, Self, Computer Specialist 
              Need for increased education and information to people that have  
              multiply disabilities.  She is hearing and visually impaired and  
              really feels there's a need for more regional programs. 
          Carolyn Wilson, Self      
              Spoke to the many listening devices that are on the market for  
              the hearing impaired, however there is nowhere in Texas to go and  
              try the various equipment that is available.  Need for a resource  
              outlet  where people can go to find answers.  Spoke of the many  
              roadblocks that people that are deaf & had of hearing have with  
              just simple things like calling an 800 number to make  
              reservations for a hotel and then  getting a hotel room that is  
              equipped for their needs. 
          Deborah Drummond, Manager, Deaf Programs of Travis County 
              Spoke of her program and other programs available. Education is a  
              major problem.  Need for increased funding.  Gave examples of  
              where the Courts drop cases because they don't have funding to  
              provide interrupters.  People that are in jail because there is  
              no one to interrupt. 
          Cynthia F. Leigh,  Attorney, Self and her daughter 
              Spoke to the many different sign languages.  Supports regional  
              specialists.  Her shock at realizing how few people have never  
              encountered a deaf person and how little education there is to  
              the public.  More funding for the Commission for the Deaf and  
              Hard of Hearing. 
          Becky Compton, Executive Director, Center for the Deaf and Hard of  
     Hearing in San Antonio 
              Spoke of the severe prejudice against the deaf and hard of  
              hearing in the courts and by professionals.  Supports regional  
     Senator Ellis assumed chair at 9:18 a.m. 
         Texas Commission for the Blind 
          Greg Markley, LBB Analyst 
          Bob Keeney, Chairman of the Commission 
              Introduced all eight Commissioners who were in attendance.  Spoke  
              to all the salaries at the Texas         Commission for the Blind.   
              Spoke to Senator Zaffirini's intent to help with technology.   
              Answered questions. 
     Senator Barrientos assumed chair at 9:26 a.m. 
          Robert Peters, Ph.D., Board  member, College Dean  
              Gave a visually example of what being blind means.  How to  
              identify money, cell phone buttons, a credit card, a hotel  
              magnetic key, air plane ticket and other things.  No public  
              transportation to large areas of state.  Spoke to the third  
              exceptional items, a salary increase for their Executive  
              Director.  Answered questions. 
          Terry Murphy, Executive Director 
              Gave an overview of the mission of the Commission.  Spoke to the  
              different programs the Commission has in effect.  Gave  
              information as to where Texas ranks in comparison with the rest  
              of the United States.  Gave figures; 35% of all blind people have  
              diabetes, there are 550,000 blind or visually impaired in Texas  
              and they only serve about 24,000 of those of which 52% are  
              minorities.  Texas is the best there is in serving blind people  
              and the model for other states.  Answered questions. 
               Registering, but not testifying: 
               Barbara Madrissi, Deputy Director of Programs, Texas Commission  
     for the Blind 
               Karen Headrick, Budget Management, Texas Commission for the  
               Alvin Miller, CFO, Texas Commission for the Blind 
               Robert Packard, Administrator, Texas Commission for the Blind 
     Senator Ellis assumed chair at 10:19 a.m. 
          Texas Department of Human Services 
          Michael Leo, LBB Analyst 
          Eric M. Bost, Commissioner 
              Introduced four Board members in attendance.  Gave an overview of  
              the department.  Answered questions from the Committee. 
          Judy Denton, Social Services Administrator 
               Answered questions.   
          Bobby Hoffmann, CFO 
               Answered questions. 
          Don Gilbert, Commissioner for Health & Human Services 
               Answered questions. 
     At 10:46 a.m. Senator Ellis moved  that  the committee stand recessed  
     until one hour after adjournment of the Senate; at which time the  
     committee would continue with testimony from the DHS; without objection,  
     it was so ordered.   
     At 12:59 p.m. the committee reconvened. 
     Testimony continued with witnesses from  the Texas Department of Human  
     Senator Harris asked all employees of the Texas Department of Human  
     Services to stand up, introduce themselves, and give their job title.   
     Senator Harris stated that it was interesting to him that it took 30  
     employees in attendance for the Executive Director to present the budget. 
          Eric M. Bost, Executive Director 
               Introduced Mr. Hoffmann to give overview of proposed budget. 
          Bobby Hoffmann, CFO 
              Gave an overview of proposed budget. Answered questions about  
              funds used to give bonus' to employees.  Spoke to exceptional  
              items in proposed budget and answered many questions.         
          Jackie Johnson, DHS employee 
               Spoke to the STAR PLUS program. 
          Pam Coleman, DHS employee 
               Answered questions. 
          Jack Caro, Comptroller Office (Resource) 
               Answered questions. 
          Jim Lehrman, Long Term Care Regulatory, DHS 
     Senator Ellis recessed the committee at 2:46 p.m. for 10 minutes. 
     At 2:56 p.m. the committee reconvened. 
               Public Testimony: 
              Catrina Steinocher, Ex. Director, Family Violence & Sexual  
              Assault Prevention Center of South Texas 
               Fritzi Moreman, Executive Director, Women's Protective Services  
     & Family Violence Funding 
               Bree Buchanan, Director, Public Policy, Texas Council on Family  
     Senator Zaffirini assumed the chair. 
               David Latimer, Assoc. Pres., Texas Assoc. of Home Services        
               James D. Donovan, AMERICAID Community Care (Written) 
               Johnnie Benson, Health Administrator, Colonial Southwest, Inc. 
               Patrick Bresette, Center for Public Policy Priorities (Written) 
               Celia Hagert, Center for Public Policy Priorities (Written) 
               Michael Hunter, Owner, Autumn Hills Nursing Home 
               John Di Francesco, Jr., Vice Pres., Truman W. Smith Children's  
     Care Center 
               Dr. Kathryn Akin, Truman W. Smith Children's Care Center 
               J.T. Frazier, Kid Care & Truman W. Smith Children's Center 
               Roy Wingate, Attorney, Grandson in Truman W. Smith Children's  
               Anita Anderson, AARP (Written) 
               John Trevey, Alzheimer Assoc. of Texas 
               Collen Horton, Texas Advocates Supporting Kids with Disabilities 
               Ricardo Resa (assisted by Anthony Cook, Habitational teacher),  
               Jeanine Pinner, self, mother of a son with disabilities,  
     Community waivers for personal attendants  
               Frank Pope, self, spoke to programs where people can help  
               Heather Vasek, Director of Public Policy, Texas Assoc. for Home  
               Susan Marshall, Governmental Affairs Specialist, ARC of Texas 
               Peter Longo, Texas Health Care Assoc. & Nursing Facility  
               Jennifer McPhail, ADAPT 
               Karen Greebon, ADAPT 
               Bob Kafka, ADAPT 
               Stephanie Thomas, ADAPT 
               Judith Miller, Public Policy Director, Alzheimer's Association  
     Coalition of Texas  
               Registering, but not testifying: 
               Teresa Aguirre, Public Policy Analyst, Texas Assoc. of Homes &  
     Services for the Aging (Written) 
               Dennis Borel, Coalition of Texas with Disabilities (Written) 
               Eva De Luna Castro, Center for Public Policy Priorities  
               Ron Cranston, ADAPT (Written)  
               Allan Handy, AARP 
               John W. Holtermann, Texas Silver haired Legislature 
               Susan Murphree, Advocacy Inc. 
               Ted Melina Raab, Legislative Director, Texas State Employees  
     Union (Written) 
          Senator Ellis assumed chair at 4:47 p.m. 
          Texas Workforce Commission 
          Heidi Lopez-Cepero, LBB Analyst 
          Kym Maddox, LBB Performance Analyst 
          Amanda Jones, LBB Analyst 
          Susan Riley, SAO 
          Michael Miracle, SAO 
          Cassie Carlson Reed, Executive Director 
               Introduced three Commissioner in attendance and CFO.  Gave  
     overview of Commission. 
               Spoke to exceptional items in proposed budget.  Answered  
          Diane Rath, Chairman of Commission (Representing Public)     
               Spoke in greater depth of exceptional items in proposed budget.   
     Answered questions. 
          Ron Lehmann, Commissioner (Representing Employees) 
               Spoke to proposed budget.  Answered questions. 
          T.P. O'Mahoney, Commissioner (Representing Labor) 
               Spoke to proposed budget.  Answered questions. 
          Randy Townsend, CFO 
               Answered questions. 
          Public Testimony: 
         Shirley Clowers, Executive Director, Capital Area Workforce Board 
          Sylvia Ashley, self 
          Patrick Bresette, Center for Public Policy 
          Frank Thompson, Gulf Coast Workforce Board 
          Susan Kruk, Director of Contracts & Government Relations, Initiatives  
     for Children 
          Registering, but not testifying: 
          Eva DeLuna Castro, Center for Public Policy Priorities 
          Wanicka Holland, self 
     There being no further business, at 6:24 p.m. Senator Ellis moved that the  
     Committee stand recessed  until 8:00 a.m., Monday, February 12, 2001.   
     Without objection, it was so ordered.   
     Senator Rodney Ellis, Chair 
     Myra J. Schmitt , Clerk