AUSTIN – Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, today appointed Representative Richard Peña Raymond, Chairman of the House Committee on Human Services, as one of five State Representatives to serve on the powerful Texas Sunset Advisory Commission. This high-ranking commission is essential for maintaining transparency, accountability and efficiency in state government.
Rep. Raymond will help lead the sunset review process for 21 state boards, commissions and agencies. Part of the veteran legislator’s task will be to influence how best to conduct thorough evaluations of each agency scheduled for Sunset review and make fundamental changes to an agency’s mission or operations if needed in the interest of the people.
“This selection is an honor, and I appreciate the Speaker appointing me to this important position,” said Rep. Raymond. “As Chairman of the House Committee on Human Services, I have worked with many of these agencies. I believe that we will be able to identify improvements we can make that will be important for the entire state.”
The Sunset Advisory Commission schedules some of the most critical state agencies for review and the appointed legislatures provide their leadership and knowledge necessary to ensure all aspects of agencies under review are evaluated. HOUSE SPEAKER NAMES SUNSET APPOINTEES Members of the Sunset Advisory Commission
“I am eager to get started and I encourage all Texans to participate in the Sunset review process, because the public’s input will be a major component of each review and instrumental in increasing agency efficiency and effectiveness,” said Rep. Raymond. How to Participate in the Sunset Process
Rep. Raymond’s experience as Chairman of The House Committee on Human Services will be key for the following agencies scheduled for review during the 2014-2015 cycle: Health and Human Services Commission; Department of Aging and Disability Services; Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services; Department of Family and Protective Services and Department of State Health Services. Other major agencies under review include the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Workforce Commission, a full listing of all the agencies scheduled for Sunset review during the 2014 – 2015 biennium can be found here.
Sunset is the regular assessment of the continuing need for a state agency to exist and each agency is reviewed every 12 years. While standard legislative oversight is concerned with agency compliance with legislative policies, Sunset asks a more basic question: Do the agency’s functions continue to be needed? The Sunset process works by setting a date on which an agency will be abolished unless legislation is passed to continue its functions. This creates a unique opportunity for the Legislature to look closely at each agency and make fundamental changes to an agency’s mission or operations if needed.