Senator Glenn Hegar Assumes Chairmanship of Sunset Commission, Abolishes First Agency
Senator Glenn Hegar formally commenced his tenure as Chair of the Sunset Advisory Commission today as the Commission met for the first time. Members approved a review schedule outlining the timetables Sunset staff and Commissioners will follow as they continue work on an ambitious review schedule in which 28 agencies will undergo Sunset review. In unusually early action, a state agency has already been set for elimination.
"Today we began a critical process by officially initiating the review of some of Texas' most important agencies," said Senator Hegar, "As we continue this important work, one thing that I would emphasize is that this Commission's work will be an open process. The good and hardworking people of this great state are the ultimate constituency to which these agencies must answer, and it is my great hope that all interested Texans will share their praise, criticism, or suggestions for any agency under review as that input is critical to a full and successful review."
At today's meeting the Sunset Advisory Commission approved minutes, heard a summary of the Sunset process, approved a review schedule, adopted Sunset rules, and attended to procedural matters before concluding the meeting by voting unanimously to forego review of the inactive Electronic Government Program Management Office. That vote will set in motion a chain of events that will result in the agency's elimination because, as with all agencies subject to Sunset review, its charter will be rescinded absent legislative action. Both the review schedule and Commission meeting dates are available on the Commission's website (www.sunset.state.tx.us).
In 1977, the Texas Legislature created the Sunset Advisory Commission to identify and eliminate waste, duplication, and inefficiency in government agencies. The 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.
Over the next year and a half, the Commission will review 28 of Texas' most important state agencies. Of particular note are reviews of the Public Utility Commission, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and the Division of Workers' Compensation, as well as re-reviews of the Texas Department of Insurance, Texas Department of Transportation, and the Texas Youth Commission, among many others.
The Sunset Advisory Commission is estimated to have saved the state over $783 million from 1982 to 2009.
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.