Sunset Throws Shade at LCRA, TABC
Staff reports hardly flattering
The Sunset Commission has issued the final two staff reports before the 86th Legislature convenes in January: of the Lower Colorado River Authority and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. Neither is flattering, but even Sunset is sympathetic: "LCRA has a difficult job of balancing many competing interests and needs," the report says of the river authority, which like its 16 counterparts throughout Texas is not subject to abolition under the Sunset Act, but gets a review anyway. State law prohibits Sunset from examining LCRA's $1 billion electricity business (it's the second-largest power company in Texas), but on the water side the report dings the agency multiple times for accountability failings, calling for "higher standards of openness and engagement to improve public trust." Over at TABC, which is subject to Sunset overhaul and which just had to ditch some incompetent and/or corrupt executives, the report makes the perennial call for overhauling and modernizing both the agency and the Prohibition-era alcohol code. More granular recs include expanding and empowering the appointed commission as a guard against further executive mischief, along with reducing the number of licenses and antiquated regulations. The Sunset Commission itself is holding public hearings on the reports Dec. 12 and 13.