Senator Glenn Hegar Appointed to Sunset Advisory Commission
To Serve as Vice Chairman
Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst appointed Senator Glenn Hegar as Vice Chairman of the Sunset Advisory Commission yesterday. Senator Hegar's appointment made Texas history, marking the first time that a freshman member of the Texas Legislature has been appointed to a leadership position of Chairman or Vice Chairman of the powerful Sunset Advisory Commission. The Sunset Advisory Commission, which was created in 1977, plays a vital role, working to identify and eliminate waste, duplication, and inefficiency in government agencies.
"I am confident that Senator Hegar will provide knowledgeable and thought provoking contributions," said Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst. "His attention to detail and tirelessness will be assets to the Sunset Advisory Commission as it undertakes the review of some of our most important state agencies."
"I am greatly honored at the Lieutenant Governor's appointment," said Senator Hegar. "The Sunset Advisory Commission is one of the most important and powerful bodies on which a Texas Legislator can serve. The review of state agencies helps to ensure that our tax dollars are not wasted by duplicative efforts or inefficiency. I could not be more enthusiastic to lend my full effort and energy to this cause and cannot wait to get to work."
The Sunset Advisory Commission conducts thorough reviews of nearly all state agencies, gathering information from the agency itself, members of the public, interest groups, and professional organizations. Each review is a three to eight month process. After conducting the review, the Sunset Advisory Commission determines whether the agency is needed; those that are found to be duplicative or no longer needed are abolished after a one year "wind-down" period. More typically, a final report is issued detailing recommended changes to the agency. The report is then used to develop legislation to implement the recommended changes in how the agency performs its mission.
During a typical legislative session, 20 to 30 state agencies are reviewed; most agencies are reviewed on a twelve year cycle. The next legislative session will be a particularly important one for the Sunset Advisory Commission, as the Texas Department of Agriculture, the Texas Department of Insurance, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Department of Transportation, and the Texas Youth Commission, among many others, are all set for sunset review.
"I am looking forward to renewing the close working relationship that Senator Hegar and I enjoyed when he was a House Member," said Sunset Advisory Committee Chairman, State Representative Carl Isett, (R-Lubbock). "Few members of the Legislature are as thoughtful and well respected as Glenn and he will be a great asset to the Sunset process. I am anxious to begin our important work together."
The commission consists of twelve members: six are selected by the Lieutenant Governor, and six by the Speaker of the House, each selects a public member and five representatives or senators. The Sunset Advisory Commission membership will consist of Representatives Carl Isett (R-Lubbock), Ruth Jones McClendon (D-San Antonio), Linda Harper Brown (R-Irving), Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), and Dan Flynn (R-Van), and Senators Glenn Hegar (R-Katy), Kim Brimer (R-Fort Worth), Bob Deuell (R-Greenville), Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls), and Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (D-McAllen), as well as public members Mr. Michael Stevens, and Mr. Ike Sugg.
The Sunset Advisory Commission is estimated to have saved the state over $736 million from 1982 to 2003.
Senator Hegar is currently serving his first term in the Texas Senate after serving two terms in the House of Representatives. He is a 6th generation Texan, and earns a living farming rice and corn on land that has been in his family since the mid 1800s. The Hegars reside in Katy, Texas.