from the Office of State Senator Craig Estes, District 30

For Immediate Release
February 9, 2009
Contact: Jody Withers
(512) 463-0130

Senator Estes Files Legislation to Put Major River Authorities Under Sunset Review

Austin — Senator Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) filed Senate Bill 725 to subject major river authorities to review and potential abolishment by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission.

"I believe this is a necessary step in providing meaningful accountability and transparency on behalf of our citizens who finance these river authorities through local user fees," said Estes.

State agencies, boards, and commissions are normally subject to a periodic review by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission. Sunset Advisory Commission staff conduct a review of management practices and operations looking to eliminate waste, increase efficiency, and focus primary responsibilities.

"Our Sunset reviews can run the whole spectrum from a pat on the back for doing a good job, to recommending complete abolishment," said Estes. "Sunset Commission staff have the professionalism, experience, and institutional knowledge of government operations we need to do this job right and make sound recommendations."

Senate Bill 725 requires major river authorities and other water authorities to undergo a periodic Sunset review, and requires the Sunset reviews to be paid for from the authority's funds.

River and water authorities included in the Senate Bill 725 are the Brazos River Authority, Canadian River Municipal Water Authority, Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, Gulf Coast Water Authority, Lower Colorado River Authority, Lower Neches Valley Authority, Sabine River Authority of Texas, San Antonio River Authority, San Jacinto river Authority, and Trinity River Authority of Texas.

Senator Estes is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and represents Senate District 30 covering Archer, Baylor, Clay, Collin (part), Cooke, Denton (part), Grayson, Jack, Montague, Parker, Palo Pinto, Shackelford, Stephens, Throckmorton, Wichita, Wilbarger, Wise, and Young counties.