and Military Installation 
                               Friday, July 28, 2000 
                                     2:00 p.m. 
                                   U.S.S. Inchon 
         Pursuant to a notice posted in accordance with Senate  
         Rule 11.18, a public hearing of the Senate Committee on  
         VETERAN AFFAIRS was held on Friday, July 28, 2000,  
         aboard the U.S.S. Inchon,  Ingleside Naval Station,  
         MEMBERS PRESENT:                        MEMBERS ABSENT: 
         Senator Carlos F. Truan                 Senator Troy Fraser 
         Senator Steve Ogden 
         Senator Eliot Shapleigh 
         Senator Leticia Van de Putte 
         Senator Carlos F. Truan, Chairman, called the meeting  
         to order at 2:10 p.m.  There being a quorum present,  
         the following business was transacted:   
         The Chairman recognized Representative Judy Hawley and  
         asked her to join the committee members at the table.   
         After opening remarks, Chairman Truan presented a Texas  
         flag flown over the state capitol to Captain Dan  
         Hartwell, commanding officer of the USS Inchon.  A  
         Texas flag was also presented to Mr. and Mrs. Paul  
         Alaniz, Sr., gold star parents who lost their son in  
         Viet Nam 
         The Honorable Arnold Gonzales, city councilman for the  
         City of Corpus Christi, welcomed the committee and  
         guests to Corpus Christi. 
         Chairman Truan  recognized Rear Admiral Jose L.  
         Betancourt, Commander Mine Warfare Command, to welcome  
         the Committee to Ingleside Naval Station and the USS  
         Inchon to testify.  Admiral Betancourt presented  
         testimony on the high insurance rates in the State of  
         Texas and other needs of the personnel of the United  
         States Navy. 
         Lt. General Leon J. LaPorte, Commanding General  United  
         States Army III Corps at Fort Hood testified on the  
         strategic deployment highway to connect Ft. Hood, TX,  
         with the port of Corpus Christi to enable the rapid  
         deployment of troops and equipment to problem areas in  
         the world 
         The Chairman next called on Mr. Al Luedecke, Director  
         of Transportation Planning & Programing Division, Texas  
         Department of Transportation, Mr. Billy Parks, Corpus  
         Christi District Engineer, and Mr. Richard Skopik,  
         District Engineer for the Waco District to testify on  
         the plan for the military deployment route. the  
         estimate to construct the twenty-five (25) miles is  
         $100 million in construction costs and in the cost for  
         acquiring the right-of-way.  The twenty five mile  
         stretch of highway is the weak link in the existing  
         route to the ports of  Corpus Christi and Beaumont.   
         Mr. Al Speight, Manager of Military Deployment for the  
         Port of Corpus Christi Authority testified on the  
         ability of the port to diversify and be ready for the  
         Captain Elizabeth R. Barker, Commanding Officer, Naval  
         Hospital Corpus Christi testified on a partnership  
         between the Navy Hospital community. 
          Brig. General Wayne D. Marty, Assistant Adjutant  
         General, Texas Army National Guard, reported on the 700  
         men and women serving in Bosnia from the Texas National  
         Mr. Dick Messbarger, Executive Director, Kingsville  
         Economic Development Council and Mr. Jim Berry,  
         Executive Director of the Bee Development Authority,  
         "Chase Field" testified on economic development of  
         closed bases.  It was brought out in testimony that the  
         State of Massachusetts  had spent $100 million in 1993  
         to retain their military bases and the State of  
         Mississippi had appropriated $65 million to keep their  
         bases operational. 
         The Chairman called Mr. James Christoferson, Director  
         of the Office of Defense Affairs, Austin, Texas, as a  
         resource witness. 
         The Chairman called Mr. Abel Chapa, Vice-President of  
         the Texas County Veterans Service Officers and Mr. Adan  
         Alaniz, Jr., Nueces County Veterans Service Officer for  
         the Department of Veteran Affairs to testify on the  
         need for state veteran cemeteries, veteran homes,  and  
         the Hazelwood Act for educational benefits.  
         There being no further testimony, Chairman Truan  
         recognized Senator Van de Putte who moved that the  
         Committee stand recessed until further call of the  
         Chair.  There being no objections, the Committee was  
         recessed at 4:50 p.m. 
         Carlos F. Truan, Chairman 
         Alice G. Breard, Committee Clerk  
                          Witnesses in Order of Testimony: 
         The Honorable Arnold Gonzales 
         Corpus Christi City Council 
         P. O. Box 9277 
         Corpus Christi, TX  78469-9277 
         Rear Admiral Jose L. Betancourt 
         Commander Mine Warfare Command 
         325 Fifth St. S.E. 
         Corpus Christi, TX  78413 
         (361) 961-4860 
         Lt. General Leon J. LaPorte 
         Commanding General 
         Fort Hood, TX., US Army 
         6791 Patton Drive 
         Fort Hood, TX  76544 
         (254) 287-2206 
         Mr. Billy Parks, P.E. 
         District Engineer, Corpus Christi District 
         Texas Department of Transportation 
         1701 SPID 
         Corpus Christi, TX  78416 
         (361) 808-2220 
         Mr. Al Luedecke, P.E. 
         Director, Transportation Planning and Programming  
         Texas Department of Transportation 
         125 E. 11th Street 
         Austin, TX  78701 
         (512) 486-5000 
         Mr. Richard Skopik, P.E. 
         District Engineer, Waco District 
         100 S. Loop Drive 
         Waco, TX  76704 
         (254) 867-2701 
         Mr. Al Speight 
         Port of Corpus Christi Authority 
         Manager of Military Deployments 
         P. O. Box 1541 
         Corpus Christi, TX  78403 
         800-580-7110 x 165 
         Captain Elizabeth R. Barker, NC/USN 
         Commanding Officer, Naval Hospital Corpus Christi 
         10651 E. Street 
         Corpus Christi, TX  78418 
         (361) 961-2685 
         Brig. General Wayne D. Marty 
         Assistant Adjutant General (Army) 
         Texas National Guard 
         P. O. Box 5218 
         Austin, TX  78763 
         (512) 465-5115 
         Mr. Dick Messbarger 
         Executive Director 
         Kingsville Economic Development Council 
         635 E. King 
         Kingsville, TX  78363 
         (361) 592-6438 
         Mr. Jim Berry 
         Executive Director 
         Dee Development Authority - "Chase Field" 
         P. O. Box 1448 
         Beeville, TX  78104 
         Mr. James Christoferson, Director 
         Office of Defense Affairs 
         1700 N. Congress 
         Austin, TX 
         (512) 842-6728 
         Mr. Abel Chapa, Vice President 
         Texas County Veteran Service Officer 
         1707 Morgan Avenue 
         Corpus Christi,  TX  78404 
         (361) 883-8407 
         Mr. Alan Alaniz, Jr. 
         Veterans Services Representative 
         Department of Veteran Affairs 
         5283 Old Brownsville Road 
         Corpus Christi, TX 
         (361) 855-6488