One of the most important state agencies in Texas is one that you may not have heard of- the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission. This commission reviews state agencies on a rotating schedule and determines if the agency should continue to operate, and if so, what changes can be made to make it more efficient.

The Sunset Commission is made up of members of the Texas House of Representatives, Texas Senate, and 2 public members. This committee met in Austin recently to consider recommendations to improve state government. The Sunset staff is composed of evaluation and administrative professionals that support the Commission by performing agency reviews and assisting in the legislative process.

Since 1977, changes enacted through Sunset reviews have abolished 37 agencies, consolidated another 46, and saved nearly $980 million, returning $23 for every $1 spent on Sunset. The Legislature typically passes about 80 percent of the Sunset Commission's recommendations, which have positively affected every area of state government through nearly 500 reviews.

The reviews underway right now will be considered in the next Legislative Session and these recommendations must be passed like any other law. Some of the agencies under review right now may have a big impact on our part of the State, like the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Changes that come from the sunset review process aim to make state government work better for taxpayers. I look forward to these investigations and supporting ways to lower the cost of state business.