Report on Senate Finance Committee Hearing

Posted: February 27, 2011 in Uncategorized
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On February 24, 2011, the Texas Senate Finance Committee held a hearing to take testimony concerning the budget request of the Texas Board Of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG).  The committee is chaired by Senator Odgen.  A list of committee members can be found here.

The Committee heard testimony from the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) concerning the budget recommendations and then from Col. Mike Hess, Executive Director of the TBPG.  The committee chair commented that the TBPG takes in 2.4 million dollars per biennium and is appropriated 1.16 million per biennium.  In essence it takes in more money than is expended.  He could not understand how suspending the TBPG would be a cost savings since there would be no agency to collect the license fees and thus ultimately would constitute a loss of revenue.

When the testimony from the agency was concluded, testimony was taken from the public.  Five members of the public testified before the committee.  Below is a list of those who testified, who they represented and letters they carried.

  • Matthew R. Cowan – TAPG – presented a letter of support from the TAPG, Fort Worth Geological, HGS, Society, and National Association of Consulting Soil Scientists, and provided testimony
  • Kevin Coleman – AEG – presented letters of support from the AEG and Dallas Geological Society, and provided testimony
  • Lynn Clark – TBPG – provided testimony on behalf of the TBPG
  • Glenn Lowenstein – TBPG– provided testimony on behalf of the TBPG
  • David Langenkamp – himself

The following registered for the bill but did not testify:

  • John Tubb – HGS  President– presented a letter of support from the HGS

Also in attendance were Barbara Roeling, Chairman of the  TBPG and Ronald Kitchens chairman elect of the TBPG.

It appears that the hearing went well but that does not mean its over.  Not by a long shot.  The full House and Senate must approve the budget.  Also there is still concern that legislation may come up to merge the board with another agency as well.  In the end the last and biggest hurdle is getting the Governor’s approval.

Stay tuned for more updates!!

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