SENATE COMMITTEE ON NOMINATIONS 
                              Monday, February 7, 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 7, 2005, in the Capitol Extension,  
         Room E1.016, at Austin, Texas. 
         MEMBERS PRESENT:                        MEMBERS ABSENT: 
         Senator Jon Lindsay                     Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr. 
         Senator Bob Deuell 
         Senator Gonzalo Barrientos 
         Senator Kevin Eltife 
         Senator Mike Jackson 
         Senator Jane Nelson 
         The chair called the meeting to order at 2:16 p.m.  There being  
         a quorum present, the following business was transacted:   
         The following members arrived after the roll was called: Senator  
         Jackson (2:19 p.m.) and  Vice-chairman Deuell (2:21 p.m.). 
         Minutes from the previous meeting were adopted at 2:17 by all  
         The Chair recognized Senator Jeff Wentworth to introduce  
         Elizabeth Ames Jones, nominee for Texas Railroad Commission and  
         former State Representative for District 121. Jones gave a brief  
         description of her family background in oil and gas, her  
         experience as a member of the Texas House Committee on Energy  
         Resources, her vision for capturing viable alternative fuel  
         sources and goals for the future.  
         Chairman Lindsay questioned Jones about her lack of experience.  
         Jones restated her oil and gas history and said she hoped that  
         those doubts would be overcome by her work ethic and commitment. 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Senator Barrientos. Senator  
         Barrientos asked Jones about how she saw her role as a  
         commissioner. She answered saying she saw her role as one that  
         provides assistance as well as regulation; she also wants to  
         master all aspects of the position and acquire a sense of  
         balance in juggling the differing roles of a commissioner.  
         Barrientos asked if she thought the Railroad Commission was  
         still needed. Jones replied she was confident in the will of the  
         Legislature and whatever outcome it decided upon. Barrientos  
         questioned her approach to the cleanup of abandoned wells; Jones  
         replied that the money spent so far has been well-utilized but  
         her desire was to accelerate the process. Barrientos then asked  
         Jones what she thought about Communities in Schools (C.I.S.) and  
         its appropriations and her thoughts about state employees. She  
         answered saying C.I.S. was an excellent program and she hopes to  
         keep good employees at the Railroad Commission, noting a 17%  
         deficit in equity in present salaries. 
         The Chair recognized Senator Shapiro. Senator Shapiro asked Mrs.  
         Jones what she would call the Railroad Commission if she had to  
         rename it. Jones replied that, although she would call it the  
         Energy Commission since that is more reflective of what it  
         actually does, she did note the posterity and history behind the  
         present name.  
         Senator Shapiro called Jones one of the finest people in the  
         legislature; a dedicated public servant full of passion,  
         compassion and desire who is committed to learning. 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Senator Jackson who gave some  
         examples of a possible new name for the commission. Jackson  
         offered his congratulations and reminded Jones that, as a state  
         representative she was accountable to a constituency of 150,000  
         people or so, as a Railroad Commissioner she would find the  
         whole state of Texas knocking at her door. 
         The Chair recognized Senator Nelson who echoed support for Mrs.  
         Jones, saying she could not think of a better choice for the  
         job. Nelson did query Jones about what goal she had to build on  
         the success of the commission. Jones expressed the necessity of  
         recapturing carbons and enhancing hydrocarbons to keep a viable  
         and healthy energy program in Texas. 
         At 2:40 p.m. Chairman Lindsay asked for a motion. Senator Nelson  
         moved that the committee vote to confirm Jones, Senator Deuell  
         seconded the motion. By a vote of 6 ayes and 0 nays, the  
         committee confirmed Jones' nomination and sent it to the full  
         Senate for confirmation. 
         Vice-chairman Deuell moved that nominees from the non-appearing  
         entities be voted upon. Senator Jackson seconded the motion. At  
         2:43 p.m. the committee voted on nominees from the following  
         entities: State Cemetery Committee, State Committee of Examiners  
         in the Fitting and Dispensing of Hearing Instruments, State  
         Employee Charitable Campaign Policy Committee, 
         Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Texas Mutual  
         Insurance Company Board of Directors, Texas Board of Orthotics  
         and Prosthetics, Texas State Board of Podiatric Medical  
         Examiners and State Board of Examiners of Speech-Language  
         Pathology and Audiology. By a vote of 6 ayes and 0 nays, all  
         non-appearing nominees were passed out of committee and sent to  
         the full Senate for confirmation.  
         There being no more business, at 2:44 p.m., Chairman Lindsay  
         announced the committee would stand in recess subject to the  
         call of the chair. 
         Senator Jon Lindsay, Chair                                       
         Jazen Wood, Clerk