SENATE COMMITTEE ON NOMINATIONS 
                                Monday, May 23, 2005 
                                     10:30 a.m. 
                           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, May 23, 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 10:35 a.m.  There being  
         no quorum present, the following business was transacted:   
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Senator Todd Staples to introduce  
         his constituent Robert Lee Nichols, nominee to the Texas  
         Transportation Commission. The chair asked the other two  
         commissioners to introduce themselves. Hope Andrada and Ted  
         Houghton both said a few remarks. Chairman Lindsay recognized  
         Senator Lucio who told the nominees he wants to hear where they  
         are going concerning needs in resources, transportation and  
         The chair recognized Senator Eliot Shapleigh who made further  
         introductory remarks regarding his constituent Ted Houghton.  
         Senator Lucio continued addressing the nominees. Nichols told  
         the committee that the atmosphere is extremely positive now that  
         the legislature has put into place a significant tool for  
         expansion. Andrade said that she felt that it is important to  
         educate communities and has spent her time as commissioner  
         visiting and listening to communities all over Texas. Houghton  
         stressed that Mexico is our ally and that trade quarters are  
         shifting from California over through Texas to Mexico and up  
         through Texas, with Dallas and Houston playing a huge role in  
         the shift. Lucio asked whether we are receiving 90% of funds  
         back from the federal government. Nichols replied that our  
         takedown is currently around 85-86% of every dollar we send to  
         Washington. Lucio emphasized the importance of leveraging in  
         order to build tomorrow's roads at today's prices. 
         At 10:50 a.m. a quorum was present and the following business  
         was transacted:  
         Chairman Lindsay moved adoption of the minutes from the previous  
         hearings held on May 16, 2005, May 17, 2005, and May 18, 2005;  
         without objection, it was so ordered.   
         The Chair recognized Senator Nelson who told the commission  
         members that transportation was the number one most important  
         issue to her constituents. 
         Chairman Lindsay recognized Senator Eltife who asked that when  
         the commission holds a meeting, that those people who drove from  
         far away to attend be moved to the top of the agenda as a matter  
         of courtesy. Eltife added that it is a bad reflection on the  
         state when those people end up being on the bottom of the  
         The chair recognized Senator Barrientos who, before leaving the  
         committee, requested that the members of the Texas  
         Transportation Commission be brought back after the adjournment  
         of the Senate. Chairman Lindsay said he was not inclined to keep  
         them there, Vice-Chair Deuell said that the nominees' presence  
         at the hearing happened for a reason. Nelson added that the  
         Senate might be close to a filibuster and that might not be fair  
         to keep the nominees. Lucio said out of respect for Barrientos'  
         request he would be shown as present not voting if a vote was  
         Chairman Lindsay asked for a motion, Eltife so moved and at  
         11:00 a.m., the committee voted by 5 ayes, 0 nays, 1 present not  
         voting and 1 absent to recommend Robert Lee Nichols, Esperanza  
         Aldrada, and Ted Houghton, nominees to the Texas Transportation  
         Commission, to the full Senate for confirmation. 
         Chairman Lindsay asked the Honorable Rex Baker to come forward  
         and announced that Judge Baker had provided the committee  
         members with his written response to written testimony from the  
         previous Nominations committee hearing. 
         Senator Nelson moved that a vote be taken on the nomination of  
         the Honorable Rex Baker to the State Commission on Judicial  
         Conduct. At 11:01 a.m., by a vote of 6 ayes, 0 nays, and 1  
         absent the committee recommended the nominee to the full Senate  
         for confirmation. Senators Jackson and Lucio asked to be shown  
         voting aye. 
         Senator Nelson moved that a vote be taken on the nominees to the  
         Texas Residential Construction Commission. At 11:02 a.m., by a  
         vote of 6 ayes, 0 nays, and 1 absent, the committee voted to  
         recommend Lewis Brown, John Klugh, and Scott Porter to the full  
         Senate for confirmation. Senators Jackson and Lucio asked to be  
         shown voting aye. 
         There being no further business, at 11:03 a.m. Senator Lindsay  
         moved that the Committee be adjourned. Without objection, it was  
         so ordered.   
         Senator Jon Lindsay, Chair 
         Jazen Wood, Clerk