In 1977, the Texas Legislature created the Sunset Advisory Commission via the Texas Sunset Act, with the goal of streamlining the number and reach of state administrative agencies—in order to achieve a smaller, more streamlined government. The function of the Commission is to occasionally review each agency and licensing board under state purview and to question whether the agency is truly necessary and to gauge its effectiveness at achieving the purpose for which the agency and its programs have been created. When it is determined that a given agency does continue to have currency, the Commission makes recommendations for improvements of efficiency and efficacy.
When an agency is determined to no longer be relevant or to be fulfilling its proper function, the Commission will recommend it be abolished altogether or that its functions be transferred to another agency whose function is substantially related in kind.
There is a determined process to Sunset review that follows three discrete stages:
- Stage 1 - During this stage, the Sunset Advisory Commission evaluates the Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners using research and analysis to evaluate the need for the agency and its performance, with the goal of issuing a report recommending either dissolution of the agency or solutions to any discovered problems.
The agency itself has already produced a “Self-Evaluation Report,” as of September 2019, making its case for continued existence and efficacy, which the Commission will review and consider in its own decision-making process.
The Commission also accepts and considers confidential public input during this time, which factors into its eventual determination
- Stage 2 - The Commission’s staff then presents its report and recommendations. A public hearing is held, allowing for response testimony from the agency concerning the report. The Commission then meets to consider and vote on whether to officially adopt the recommendations to pass forward to the Texas Legislature.
- Stage 3 – The Texas Legislature takes the Sunset Commission’s recommendations into consideration and makes its decisions. A Sunset bill on the agency is drafted, and goes through the ordinary legislative process, during which the Senate and House meet in committee and debate the bill, submit it for a vote, and, if it passes, it goes to the Governor’s desk. There it becomes law if not vetoed by the Governor.
Professional License Defense Attorneys
BERTOLINO LLP handles matters related to licensure, grievance complaints, ethics, and other important professional licensing issues. If you have received a licensing complaint, BERTOLINO LLP can help. To best serve our clients we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.
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