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Posts Tagged ‘Texas Sunset Advisory Committee’

Wrapping up the rest of the regular session

So as we now know, a special session on redistricting has been called, though we don’t yet know what if anything else may be added later. I covered that last night, so let’s cover what else got done at the end of the regular session, beyond what I noted below. First of all, the budget […]

We still have the Railroad Commission to kick around

State Impact Texas tells us that there will be no sunset bill, and thus no reforms, for the Texas Railroad Commission this session. After a lengthy review of the agency, required by state law under the Sunset review process, the Railroad Commission will continue instead with the same name and without any reforms. So what happened? […]

Texas Lottery Commission dies and is reborn

And we have our first curveball of the legislative session. The House voted Tuesday to defeat a must-pass bill reauthorizing the Texas Lottery Commission, a stunning move that casts doubt on the lottery as a whole and may potentially cost the state billions in revenue. House Bill 2197 began as a seemingly routine proposal to […]

Sunsetting tax expenditures

Sens. John Carona and Rodney Ellis have the right idea. Over the past 18 months, many of our constituents told us they have trouble finding a reliable, accurate and up-to-date source of information on these tax breaks, exemptions and special treatments — often called tax preferences or loopholes. Unfortunately, so do we. The Legislature makes […]

You can have a say on how the Railroad Commission conducts its business

From Texas Sharon: STEPS TO CHANGE THE RRC. The Sunset Advisory Commission is the agency that regulates all Texas agencies.ONCE EVERY 12 YEARS, they examine the agencies and decide what needs to be changed and if the agencies should continue. This year it’s the RRC’s turn for examination. How to Participate. On Wednesday, December 19th, you can […]

Time for the biennial attempt to de-fang the Travis County DA

Same story, next chapter. The Texas Ethics Commission, long criticized for its lax enforcement of public officials, is considering a plan to take over all ethics enforcement from the Travis County district attorney’s office, which has a long history of prosecuting errant state officeholders. The eight-member Ethics Commission, meeting Thursday in Austin, is scheduled to […]

Ending the Lottery?

Seems unlikely, but that won’t stop some folks from trying. As lawmakers look at whether the Texas Lottery Commission is operating effectively, influential Baptists are suggesting that the lottery shouldn’t merely be tweaked. They want it abolished. “Ask the pertinent questions. Has the lottery fulfilled its promise? My answer would be ‘no,’” said Suzii Paynter, […]

Senate says “good-bye” to Railroad Commission

Something like this has been talked about for a long time, now we’ll see if it actually happens. The Senate approved a bill [Monday] that would change the name of the Railroad Commission to the Texas Oil and Gas Commission and reduce the size of the commission from three elected members to one elected commissioner. […]

What to do with the SBOE?

The Lege has many ideas about what to do with the state’s most embarrassing branch of government, some of which are better than others. State Rep. Roberto Alonzo (D-Dallas), wants the SBOE abolished under his House Bill 881 and all the board’s responsibilities directed to the Texas Education Agency and the commissioner of education. The […]

RRC Commish Williams to leave his post

Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams, a ten-year incumbent who has nonetheless managed to claim the mantel of “outsider/insurgent” in the race for the 2012 GOP Senate nomination, will reportedly resign his post so as to actually be an outsider of some kind. Texas Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams likely will announced Wednesday that he will resign his […]

Worker’s Comp goes before the Sunset Commission

The worker’s comp battle has moved to the Sunset Advisory Committee, with testimony being given about how the Division of Workers’ Compensation does its business. Elise Hu continues her reporting on the war of words between several former employees of that division and their boss – see a letter one of them wrote in response […]

The Worker’s Comp Commissioner fires back

How can you tell when whistleblowers are having an effect? When the entitiy they blew the whistle on attacks them. As the Division of Workers’ Compensation heads into a public hearing at the Sunset Advisory Commission next week, Commissioner Rod Bordelon is blasting his former employees for their allegations in the Texas Tribune earlier this […]

Looking for a way to celebrate Earth Day?

The Alliance for a Clean Texas has a suggestion: Texans expect our environmental agency to protect our health. TCEQ too often falls short of these expectations due to lax enforcement of existing clean air and water laws. The sunset review process offers all concerned Texans a chance to advocate for much-needed reforms at TCEQ. Here […]

Special session for July 1

We knew it was coming, and here it is. NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICK PERRY, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF TEXAS, by the authority vested in me by Article IV, Section 8, of the Texas Constitution, do hereby call an extraordinary session of the 81st Legislature, to be convened in the City of Austin, commencing at […]

Special session coming

Ugh. Speaking to reporters this afternoon at a roundtable on national energy legislation, Gov. Rick Perry said there will definitely be a special legislative session. But he declined to say when, or how many issues it will include. “We’re in the process now of making the decision,” he said. Perry said immediately after this most […]

One threat of a special session averted, another arises

Gah. In a surprise ending to the second-to-last day of the legislative session, the House failed to pass the so-called sunset safety net bill, HB1959, before the midnight deadline tonight for the chamber to approve bills. The bill would allow agencies like the Texas Department of Transportation, the Texas Department of Insurance and others that […]

Red light camera ban appears dead

So says the Star-Telegram, which has been the go-to source for these stories. A final version of legislation restructuring the Texas Department of Transportation is not expected to include a ban on red-light cameras or a local option provision allowing county elections to raise money for road and rail projects, lawmakers said Saturday. Members of […]

Houston extends red light camera contract

We’ll have red light cameras to kick around for at least a few more years. The City Council extended the contract of the company that administers its red-light camera program for three more years Wednesday, aiming to thwart legislation pending in Austin that would sunset the use of the devices. The ordinance, which passed Wednesday […]

Senate passes TxDOT sunset bill, red light cameras not dead yet

The Senate approved its version of HB300, the TxDOT sunset bill, and as expected it has some major differences from the House version. Plans to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for transportation projects in North Texas progressed Monday night as the Senate approved a massive transportation bill that gives counties authority to ask voters […]

Skinning a cat: Alternate methods

The Senate TxDOT sunset bill is not the House TxDOT sunset bill

As we know, the massive House sunset bill for TxDOT, HB300, contained a boatload of amendments that greatly altered the original bill, including one that would make TxDOT a 15-member elected commission and one that would have outlawed red light cameras. As I suggested, however, the Senate version of this bill would look quite a […]

Auditor’s report on TYC

Grits has a link to the State Auditor’s followup report on the Texas Youth Commission, which you can download here (PDF). In short: They’ve made progress, but they’ve still got some things to work out. Which may or may not bite them at their upcoming Sunset hearing. Read ‘em for yourself and see what you […]

More on the House attempt to kill red light cameras

Grits notes with some pleasure a couple of amendments in HB300, the massive TxDOT sunset bill that passed yesterday, which would limit and ultimately end cities’ use of red light cameras. While I’ve never understood the fear and loathing these things have generated, I can’t say I’m surprised by the legislative about-face. The cameras’ opponents […]

More on the House attempt to kill red light cameras

Grits notes with some pleasure a couple of amendments in HB300, the massive TxDOT sunset bill that passed yesterday, which would limit and ultimately end cities’ use of red light cameras. While I’ve never understood the fear and loathing these things have generated, I can’t say I’m surprised by the legislative about-face. The cameras’ opponents […]

Sunsetting TxDOT

Yesterday was Day One of the debate over HB300, the TxDOT sunset bill. The Lege is on Day Two now, and if you look at all the amendments they’ve gone through, you can see why this is taking so long. Some massive changes have been proposed and adopted, staring with this. The first amendment to […]

TRCC survives sunsetting

Here’s Blogabear‘s view of HB2295, the bill to sunset the Texas Residential Construction Commission, aka the TRCC. And here’s John Coby‘s view of it. I sure hope the former is closer to the truth, because it passed, though with some decent amendments added. I still think we’d be better off if the damn thing were […]

No sunset for SBOE

Well, that‘s too bad. Just yesterday the Texas House approved on second reading House Bill 710, which would have made the Texas State Board of Education subject to periodic review by the Sunset Advisory Commission. That vote was 74-68. But the House just voted down the measure on third reading, 71-73. Only one Republican crossed […]

IG for DPS

I just have one question regarding this story. Top lawmakers voiced support for creating an inspector general at the Texas Department of Public Safety on Tuesday, a day after the sudden resignation of the agency’s director amid allegations of unprofessional actions with female staffers. The idea of an official who could look into issues and […]

The TRCC should be sunsetted

What EoW says. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s ludicrous to think that a rational profit-maximizing actor such as Bob Perry would spend as much as he does on political access without expecting to get some kind of return on his investment. Seeing him collect the returns on his investment, in […]

Activists tell TxDOT to slow down and be open

The following is a press release from a coalition of activists, including the Sierra Club, Environment Texas, Independent Texans, Houston Tomorrow, and the CTC: Representatives of a broad coalition of quality of life, political reform, and environmental groups and citizens from across the state are requesting that the five Commissioners of the Texas Transportation Commission […]