STATE REP. PADDIE: Sunset Advisory Commission aims to improve efficency in state government

One of the things I have mentioned in the past is the work that I have done over the last year as the Vice Chairman of the Sunset Advisory Commission. I want to use this week’s Capitol Update to tell you a little bit more about the Sunset process.

The Sunset Commission is responsible for making recommendations to the Legislature to improve the performance, transparency, and efficiency of state agencies. Each agency is subject to Sunset review on a 12-year cycle. The Commission is made up of 12 members: five senators, five representatives, and two public members--who are appointed by the Speaker of the House and Lieutenant Governor.

During this past year, we have done top-to-bottom reviews and held public hearings for the 32 agencies that are currently up for review. This allowed the opportunity for the Commission to receive input directly from agency staff and other stakeholders.

The result of these hearings were almost 500 recommendations that will help each agency operate more efficiently and better serve you. The Commission has recommended that we abolish two of the agencies under this review cycle, and to move some of their responsibilities to other agencies. In addition, the recommendations will save taxpayers almost $8 million over the next two years and have continuing savings into perpetuity.

Of the 32 agencies up for review, there will be 27 Sunset Bills filed that will go through the legislative process (some of the agencies are grouped together for legislative purposes). The agencies under review range from: the Texas Historical Commission, the Finance Commission of Texas, and the Texas Veterans Commission. The public testimony that we have heard throughout this past year has helped shape each individual bill.

I am honored to carry legislation that will review some of the largest agencies this cycle including: the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Department of Public Safety.
It is my hope that we will continue to improve the efficiency of these agencies so they will better serve the citizens of our great state.

If you have questions about the sunset process or have ideas for legislation, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I can be reached at 512-463-0556 or district9.paddie@house.texas.gov.