And Military Installations 
                             Wednesday  April 26, 2000 
                                     2:00 p.m. 
                      Echo Hotel, Vista Room, Edinburg, Texas 
         Pursuant to a notice posted in accordance with Senate Rule  
         11.18, a public hearing of the Senate Committee on VETERAN  
         AFFAIRS and MILITARY INSTALLATIONS  was held on Wednesday, April  
         26, 2000, in the Echo Hotel, Vista Room, Edinburg, Texas 
         Members Present                         Members Absent 
         Senator Carlos F. Truan                 Senator Troy Fraser 
         Senator Eliot Shapleigh                 Senator Steve Ogden 
         Senator  Leticia Van de Putte                                                    
         Chairman Truan called the meeting to order at 2p.m. There being  
         a quorum present the following business was transacted.    
         Senator Truan welcomed Mrs. Dora Gonzalez and introduced her to  
         the committee members.  Mrs. Gonzalez is the mother of Medal of  
         Honor, posthumous, recipient Sargent Alfredo "Freddy" Gonzalez,  
         USMC, of Edinburg, Texas.  Senator Truan presented Mrs. Gonzalez  
         with a Texas flag  that was flown over the state capitol.  Mrs.  
         Gonzalez presented the flag to Mayor Ochoa to be flown over the  
         park named after Sargent Gonzalez. 
         The Honorable Joe Ochoa, mayor of Edinburg, welcomed the  
         committee and guests to Edinburg. 
         The minutes from the previous meeting were approved on a motion  
         by Senator Shapleigh.  There being no objections the minutes  
         were adopted. 
         The Chairman called on the Honorable Jose Eloy Pulido, Hidalgo  
         County Judge, to testify on the need for veteran homes and  
         cemeteries south of San Antonio, Texas. 
         Mr. Chris G. Escamilla, Hidalgo County Veteran Services officer  
         was next to testify on veteran services in south Texas. 
         The Chair called Brigadier General Michael B. Smith, Assistant  
         Adjutant General, Texas Air National Guard, to testify on the  
         Texas National Guard..  General Smith briefed the committee on  
         the 49th Armor Division of  the Texas National Guard on the  
         peace keeping mission in Bosnia.  For the first time a National  
         Guard unit is heading an international peacekeeping unit. 
         The Chairman called on John Sneed, representing the Texas  
         General Land Office on behalf of Commissioner David Dewhurst, to  
         testify on the General Land Office veterans loan programs. 
         Senator Truan called on Billy Green, Director of Human Resources  
         Administration for the Texas Veterans Commission, to testify on  
         state veteran cemeteries. 
         The Chair called  Commissioner Patsy Palmquist, Texas Veterans  
         Commission.  Senator Van de Putte thanked Mrs. Palmquist for her  
         work in recognizing Texas women veterans. 
         The Chair called Mr. Michael Olen , Texas Workforce Commission,  
         and Mr. Homer Ortega, local veteran's employment representative  
         from Edinburg to testify on programs to train veterans. 
         Dr. Ramiro Casso, Vice-president of South Texas Community  
         College, who testified on training programs for veterans at  
         local community colleges in the Valley.  Joining Dr. Casso was  
         Ron Tupper, Director of the South Texas Center for Public  
         The Chair called Mr. Evaristo G. Flores, a veterans center team  
         leader for the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs who spoke on  
         veterans services and networking.  
         Senator Truan next called on Richard Hinojosa, Director of  
         Regional Planning, representing the Lower Rio Grande Valley  
         Development Council, who testified on the need for affordable  
         transportation services for veterans in the county. 
         The Chair called Salvador Salinas, Director of Cameron County  
         Veterans Office. 
         Colonel Frank Plummer, US Army  retired, testified on the  
         veterans war memorial plan. 
         Jessica Idy Salina, UTPA Economic Research Associate, testified  
         on the Hazelwood act and the desire that full tuition coverage  
         be granted to veterans along with book assistance and  
         educational counseling for veterans receiving funds from the  
         Hazelwood Act. 
         The Chair called Colonel Gilberto Pena, Texans National Guard  
         There being no further testimony the meeting was recessed until  
         further call of the Chair on a motion by Senator Van de Putts.   
         There being no objection the meeting was recessed at 5:45 p.m. 
         Senator Carlos F. Truan, Chairman 
         Alice G. Breard, Committee Clerk 
         Witnesses in order of testimony: 
         The Honorable Jose Elroy Palate 
         Hidalgo County Judge 
         P. O. Box 1356 
         Edinburgh, Texas 
         Mr. Chris G. Escamilla 
         Hidalgo County Veteran Services 
         100 E. Cano Street, #204 
         Edinburgh, TX  28539 
         Brig. General Michael B. Smith 
         Assistant Adjutant General 
         Texas Air National Guard 
         2200 W. 35th Street 
         Austin, TX  78701 
         Mr. John Sneed 
         Texas General Land Office 
         1700 N. Congress Avenue 
         Austin, TX  78701 
         Mr. Billy Green 
         Texas Veterans Commission 
         P. O. Box 12277 
         Austin, TX  78711 
         Mrs. Patsy L. Palmquist 
         Texas Veterans Commission 
         310 Date Palm #22 
         McAllen, TX 
          Mr. Michael Olen 
         Texas Workforce Commission 
         101 E. 15th St., Room 202-T 
         Austin, TX  78778 
         Dr. Ramiro Casso 
         Vice President, South Texas Community College 
         3400 West Pecan 
         McAllen, TX  78501 
         Mr. Ron Tupper 
         3700 N.  10th Street 
         McAllen, TX 
         Mr. Richard Hinojosa 
         Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council 
         311 N. 15th Street 
         McAllen, TX  o78501 
         Mr. Salvador Salinas 
         Director of Cameron County Veterans Office 
         964 E. Harrison 
         Brownsville, TX  78521 
         Col. Frank Plummer 
         8609 N. Ware Road 
         McAllen, TX  78504 
         Ms. Jessica Idy Salinas 
         1201 W. University 
         Edinburgh, TX  78539 
         Mr. Gilberto S.Pena 
         711 S. Texas 
         Weslaco, TX  78596