Capitol Update

24 June 2016

Capitol Update: Texas Sunset Commission

The Texas summer heat has set upon us, and hopefully everyone has been able to find some shade and enjoy the season. The Fourth of July is right around the corner, and I hope everyone is able to have a safe and enjoyable time celebrating our nation’s freedom. While we are at cookouts and enjoying time with friends and family, let’s not forget the sacrifice made by those who have fought for the freedoms we enjoy today. And as we are looking forward to Independence Day, here is an update from your state capitol…


Texas Sunset Commission

Every two years the Texas Sunset Commission reviews a number of state government agencies, working to improve their efficiency and effectiveness at accomplishing their core mission. The commission is made up of five State Senators and five State Representatives, as well as two members of the general public. During the summer before each legislative session, the Commission meets and holds hearings to study a subset of these agencies and begin to formulate legislative changes designed to increase the effectiveness of each agency.

This cycle the Commission will be reviewing the Texas Department of Transportation, The Railroad Commission of Texas, all of the governing boards for the medical industry, as well as several river authorities. These are important state agencies, managing everything from state road construction to medical licensing, and surface water management to the oil and gas industry. These issues impact every sector of the Texas economy, and my office will be actively following the process to ensure that our rural East Texas views are not ignored in the process. Over 80% of the state’s roadways are in rural Texas, and I plan to make sure that our rural state highways and farm to market roads are not forgotten when precious dollars are allocated for maintenance and construction.

While each recommendation made by the Sunset Commission will ultimately be debated before the entire legislature, I will keep you abreast of what is happening and make sure that our values are represented throughout the process.


House Interim Charges: House Committee on Environmental Regulation

The House Committee on Environmental Regulation is charged with overseeing all legislation and state agencies which regulate businesses with an environmental impact. It is a critically important committee which much delicately balance our economic growth and job creation with the preservation of Texas’ natural beauty. The committee will start its interim studies by reviewing the regulatory schemes for household hazardous waste disposal, and recommend if more uniform guidelines could improve legal disposal habits.

The committee will then monitor local initiatives to regulate environmental issues and consider if legislative changes are needed to resolve ambiguous regulations regarding the priority of state or local authority. Lastly, the committee will study the effectiveness of the current state programs to address scrap tire management and disposal methods. They will then provide recommendations for incentives or enforcement measures for the ongoing efforts.


The mobile office has wrapped up for the month of June, and will be taking the month of July off. We will be back on the road for the month of August and look forward to seeing you around House District 57!

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can help you in any way. My district office may be reached at (936) 634-2762 or you can call my Capitol office at (512) 463-0508.


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