Tribpedia: Sunset Advisory Commission

Tribpedia

The Texas Sunset Advisory Commission reviews the operation and efficiency of more than 150 state agencies. Most agencies undergo Sunset review every 12 years.

The Sunset Advisory Commission was established in 1977. Five members of the House, five Senate appointees and two public members make up the panel. Appointees conduct comprehensive evaluations of agencies such as the Texas Department of ...

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Disability Groups Hope Turnover Leads to Reform

Austin State-Supported Living Center employee Tamika Mays is shown with resident Rebecca Hadnot in 2011.
Austin State-Supported Living Center employee Tamika Mays is shown with resident Rebecca Hadnot in 2011.

Advocates for Texans with disabilities are seeking changes at state-supported institutions, a solution to the caregiver shortage and relief from the massive waiting lists for community-based care. They're hopeful that the turnover in statewide offices in November might help them get what they've long sought. 

Austin State-Supported Living Center employee Tamika Mays is shown with resident Rebecca Hadnot in 2011.
Austin State-Supported Living Center employee Tamika Mays is shown with resident Rebecca Hadnot in 2011.

Commission Formally Calls for Closure of Institutions

A Texas commission that reviews the efficiency of government agencies officially recommended Wednesday that lawmakers shutter an Austin-area institution for people with disabilities — and identify five more statewide for later closure.

 

 

Disabled residents shred paper at the Mexia State Supported Living Center.
Disabled residents shred paper at the Mexia State Supported Living Center.

Lawmakers Consider Closing Institutions for Disabled

Lawmakers considered a proposal to shutter six of Texas’ 13 state-supported living centers over two days of public hearings, renewing a long-simmering debate over the future of the state’s institutions for the disabled. The Sunset Advisory Commission staff recommended shutting one center right away, followed by five more over several years.

Texas Gets a D+ in Public Integrity Study

Texas scored a 68 out of 100, coming in at 27th place in a national state integrity study. The state got high marks for auditing and for monitoring pension funds, but not as high for accountability of the governor and legislators.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 11/28/11

Aaronson maps the growth of poverty in Texas, Aguilar on the suicide of an illegal immigrant, Galbraith on the prospect of more rolling blackouts, Grissom on a prosecutor's memory lapse, Hamilton on the prospect of public universities undergoing a sunset review, Murphy's latest awesome redistricting interactive, Ramsey on a stumbling start to the 2012 election season, Root on Rick Perry's latest populist tirade, M. Smith on the boom in for-profit teacher certification programs and Tan on the fight against cervical cancer in ... Africa: The best of our best content from November 28 to December 2, 2011.

State Rep. Craig Eiland (r), D-Galveston, speaks against HB274 the lawsuit reform bill as Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, listens on May 9, 2011.
State Rep. Craig Eiland (r), D-Galveston, speaks against HB274 the lawsuit reform bill as Rep. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, listens on May 9, 2011.

House Poised to Pass Insurance Sunset Bill

House lawmakers voted Tuesday night to continue the duties and operations of the Texas Department of Insurance, giving early approval to the agency’s Sunset bill.

State Rep. Linda Harper-Brown (l), R-Irving, discusses TXDOT sunset legislation with State Rep. Yvonne Davis, D-Dallas, at the Texas House on April 29, 2011.
State Rep. Linda Harper-Brown (l), R-Irving, discusses TXDOT sunset legislation with State Rep. Yvonne Davis, D-Dallas, at the Texas House on April 29, 2011.

House Gives Early OK to TxDOT Sunset Bill

Consider it a do-over. The House today tentatively approved the Texas Department of Transportation Sunset bill, the measure that last year sent lawmakers into a surprise special session.

Blackened earty at Camp Bowie.
Blackened earty at Camp Bowie.

Texas Forest Service Battles Fires, Budget Cuts

Drought and strong winds mean that the number of wildfires is way up this year: Last weekend, one army base alone started four blazes. The Texas Forest Service, the lead fire-fighting agency, is also facing heightened scrutiny in the Legislature — and, of course, budget cuts.

Environmentalists Relieved About Agency's Future

With a panel of state legislators set to decide the future of a number of Texas agencies, the state's environmental agency seems likely to get the green light to operate for another 12 years, but with some changes. As Erika Aguilar of KUT News reports, environmentalists are calling the situation a mild victory.

Environmentalists Relieved About Agency's Future

With a panel of state legislators set to decide the future of a number of Texas agencies, the state's environmental agency seems likely to get the green light to operate for another 12 years, but with some changes. As Erika Aguilar of KUT News reports, environmentalists are calling the situation a mild victory.
In this clip from Monday's testimony, Commissioner Rod Bordelon of the state Division of Workers' Compensation explains why he dismissed several cases against doctors that a physician review panel had already sent to enforcement. Under questioning, he admits he looked into the process and subsequently shut it down after a call from state Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler.

Amid Tumult, House Panel Seeks Workers' Comp Fixes

Was it a broken process or a breakdown in leadership that kept bad doctors from getting removed from the state workers' compensation system? Lawmakers sought to answer that question on Monday but left a House hearing with no clear understanding of why hundreds of potential enforcement actions stalled or disappeared entirely over the last half-decade.

State lawmakers on the Sunset Advisory Commission make final remarks after the panel unanimously approves changes to the Division of Workers' Compensation's medical quality review process.

Sunset Commission Approves Workers' Comp Changes

Sunset Advisory Commissioners unanimously approved a series of changes to the troubled Division of Workers' Compensation at the Texas Department of Insurance on Tuesday, but not before aggressively rewriting the Sunset staff's original recommendations to improve the division's medical quality review process.