Chairman Glenn Hegar Releases Draft Sunset Review Schedule
Urges Public Involvement During Sunset Review Cycle
Austin — State Senator Glenn Hegar (R, Katy) the recently appointed Chairman of the Sunset Advisory Commission, today released a review schedule and tentative meeting schedule for the 2010-2011 Sunset Review cycle. "Texans deserve to know well in advance the schedule of when we will review each state agency. I want to make this a transparent and open process for lawmakers and citizens alike to ensure that we identify and eliminate government waste, duplication and inefficiencies. By releasing the schedule today, all interested Texans will have a better opportunity to comment on the operations, structure and activities of these state agencies that we are charged with reviewing this cycle," stated Senator Hegar.
The Sunset Review Schedule, as well as the meeting schedule, will be approved by the full Commission at an organizational meeting to be held later this fall. Both the review schedule and Commission meeting dates can be accessed by visiting the Sunset Advisory Commission's website (www.sunset.state.tx.us).
The Sunset Advisory Commission conducts thorough reviews of 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 or should be abolished. Those 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.
In 1977, the Texas Legislature created the Sunset Advisory Commission to identify and eliminate waste, duplication, and inefficiency in government agencies. The 12-member Commission is a legislative body that reviews the policies and programs of more than 150 government agencies every 12 years. The Commission questions the need for each agency, looks for potential duplication of other public services or programs, and considers new and innovative changes to improve each agency's operations and activities. The current review schedule include 29 extremely important agencies and some of the agencies with particular interest include the Public Utility Commission, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and the Division of Workers' Compensation, in addition to re-reviews of the Texas Department of Insurance, Texas Department of Transportation, and the Texas Youth Commission, among many others.
"Oftentimes the public is unaware of just how easy it is to have a direct and meaningful impact on improving state government through the Sunset process," Senator Hegar emphasized. "Public input is a vital component of each review and is instrumental in increasing agency efficiency and effectiveness. I greatly encourage all Texans to participate in the important public hearing phase of the Sunset process."
The 12 member Commission consists of five State Senators and public member that are selected by the Lieutenant Governor, and five State Representatives and one public member selected by the Speaker of the House.
The Sunset Advisory Commission is estimated to have saved the state over $736 million from 1982 to 2003.
Senator Hegar served two terms in the Texas House of Representatives and now represents Senate District 18 in the Texas Senate. He is a sixth generation Texan, and earns a living farming on land that has been in his family since the mid 1800's. He currently resides in Katy, Texas with his wife Dara, and their three children, Claire, Julia, and Jonah.