Rejiggering the Sunset Process

With the passage of the Sunset rescheduling bill in the special session, lawmakers ensured the doors will remain open at the Departments of Transportation and Insurance during the next two years. That was a real concern since their "Sunset" bills, along with those for three smaller agencies, didn't pass in the regular session. Rather than try to pass the full Sunset bills, lawmakers passed a slightly amended version of the Sunset Safety Net bill from the regular session, rescheduling the review dates for several agencies. Now legislators will address regulatory agencies in the 2011 session, leaving them free in 2013 to concentrate on the massive Health and Human Services Commission, among others. Sunset Commission Chair Carl Isett, R-Lubbock, explained that this doesn't mean throwing out the reviews written in 2009. Sunset staff will simply look at what recommendations the agencies chose to implement voluntarily. While Isett said he would prefer not to use this quick fix, the time constraints of the special session weighed against him: "If we were to try to do the full Sunset bills, that would dramatically elongate the time we would have to be down there."

Major Agencies Scheduled for Sunset Review in 2011 and 2013

Last ReviewOriginal ScheduleNew Schedule
Dept. of Insurance199320092011
Dept. of Transportation199720092011
Railroad Commission200120132011
Commission on Environmental Quality*200120132011
Texas Education Agency200520122013
Lottery Commission200520112013
Dept. of Criminal Justice200720112013
Health and Human Services Commission199920112013

*as Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission

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81st Legislature

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