Four Price - Texas State Representative, Republican, District 87 | The Role of the Sunset Commission

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The Role of the Sunset Commission

Regular assessment and oversight of government processes and agency operations are necessary for responsible government. Transparency and accountability are two things that we not only expect from our government, but we must also demand.

To identify areas for government improvement, the Texas Legislature created the Sunset Advisory Commission. The 12-member Sunset Commission evaluates ways to eliminate waste, duplication and inefficiencies in state agencies and considers new ways to improve an agency's operations.

Indeed, the Sunset process has changed state government. Since Sunset’s inception in 1977, the Commission has abolished 78 ineffective agencies and consolidated many agency activities. Today, the Commission, with public input, reviews the policies and programs of more than 150 government agencies every 12 years. In focusing and improving the way we run our government, the state is able to save taxpayers millions of dollars each year.

As an appointed member of the Sunset Commission, I am given a great deal of responsibility to act on behalf of Texas in providing critical oversight and demanding transparency from our state agencies. During this legislative session, I am tasked with developing and carrying legislation which is integral to the continuation and efficient operation of several state agencies: 

·        The State Preservation Board

·        The Texas Commission on the Arts 

·        The Texas Board of Professional Engineers

·        Three self-directed and semi-independent agencies 

·       Texas Board of Architectural Examiners

·       The Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the Windham School District, the Board of Pardons and Paroles, and the Correctional Managed Health Care Committee

This week, I presented the Sunset bill for the Texas Commission on the Arts on the House floor. House Bill 1674 continues the Texas Commission on the Arts for 12 years, thereby continuing support for and access to the arts across Texas, generating local and state revenue, fostering economic development, and providing educational and social opportunities. 

On Saturday, I am formally presenting the Sunset bill for the continuation of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, the Windham School District, the Board of Pardons and Paroles, and the Correctional Managed Health Care Committee. House Bill 2289 continues the TDCJ for eight years, and proposes more comprehensive plans and new data reporting. House Bill 2289 instructs TDCJ agencies to better measure and manage the performance of its programs to help align future funding with programs that work – those that reduce recidivism and incarceration costs. House Bill 2289 also instructs TDCJ agencies to coordinate and integrate its assessment, treatment and reentry strategies to achieve more successful outcomes. The ultimate goal is to improve the state’s adult criminal justice system.

As a member of the Sunset Commission, it is my mission to ensure all Sunset agencies under review adhere to best practices and efficient operations while also serving to safeguard health, property and the public welfare within their unique industries.

I hope this brief update provides you with some new insights on the Sunset process in Texas. This is an important part of my legislative responsibility, not only to my constituents but also to the entire state, and I’m proud to be doing this work here at the Capitol. 

 Read more on the Sunset Commission here: http://www.sunset.state.tx.us/.