In Texas, This Agency Watches Over the Other Agencies

Apr 28, 2016

Speaker Joe Straus on the floor of the Texas House on April 17, 2015.
Credit Texas Tribune

In Texas, all state agencies must win legislative permission every 12 years to remain open. But who decides if these agencies stay alive? The task is handled by what’s known as the Sunset Advisory Commission, reports The Texas Tribune. It’s the commission’s job to periodically recommend changes in how agencies operate. They also revise agency missions, and even decide whether the entity should continue to exist.

Two dozen agencies are on the list for the next legislative session, and the Sunset Commission is already at work.

Unfortunately, the commission is vulnerable to lobbyists. That’s because the commission is such a big agency with such a big job. Lobbyists are often able to revise an agency’s mission in a way that benefits them.  Lobbyists also try to save dying or unpopular legislation that can’t survive on its own by  attaching it to must-pass Sunset bills.