Tuesday, April 10, 2018

#TXLEGE: Senate has opportunity to restore teeth to Sunset Process this interim

"A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous."
Proverbs 13:22

We were on the Sunset Commission's website this morning when we noticed something interesting about its current membership (on the Senate side):

Our first reaction: "Dadgum, Bob Hall's on the Sunset Commission?!? When did that happen?!?" Apparently, it happened last November.

Then we realized that Brian Birdwell and Dawn Buckingham are also on Sunset.  Thus, you have a core group of 3 solid conservatives; that's never happened before. Historically, the Sunset commission has been made up of members who range from "ok" to awful (eg. Byron Cook was appointed twice).  You might have one, or at most two, solid conservatives.  3 is unprecedented.

There are 32 governmental entities going through Sunset this interim.  Of those 32, using very generous standards, 20 might be justifiable.  In other words, the Texas Sunset Commission has an easy opportunity to abolish at least 12 pointless governmental agencies this interim.  Even if Birdwell, Buckingham, and Hall can't get the full commission to agree to their abolition, as a dissident faction they can create headaches for all involved.

For example: Did you know that Texas has a "Funeral Service Commission" (aka. you can't escape the government, even in death)?!?  Neither did we.  But that entity does exist, and it's up in Sunset this interim.

Bottom Line: Imagine a world where, as conservatives steadily gain ground in the legislature, the Texas Sunset commission uses the authority it already has.  Then consider that, with his appointments this interim, Lt. Governor Patrick has given us a down payment on that world.  This is an opportunity we should exploit.

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