Snus NEWS – Get latest news on all new brands and product

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Rep. Ken Paxton reports on the Sunset Advisory Commission report on the TTC and the hated (by me) TxDot

The following appeared in Representative Ken Paxton's "Capitol Steps" email on Jun 6, 2008. For once, I really don't have anything to add. Mr. Paxton and the Sunset Advisory Commission say it pretty plainly in Mr. Paxton's article:

Sunset Advisory Commission Recommends Drastic Changes for Texas Transportation Commission

The Sunset Commission was created by the Legislature to identify and eliminate waste, duplication, and inefficiency in government agencies. The Commission reviews over 150 state agencies every 12 years to determine the need for an agency's existence, to propose needed statutory or management changes, and to develop the legislation necessary to enact the proposed changes. This process allows the Legislature to look closely at the agency and make necessary changes to its mission or operations.

On Tuesday of this week, the Sunset Advisory Commission staff released its report with recommendations for restructuring the Texas Transportation Commission, which oversees the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). In the opening paragraphs of this report, the Commission describes the frustration the Legislature has with the some of the agency's current policies and how it conducts business:

"The Sunset review of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) occurred against a backdrop of distrust and frustration with the Department and the demand for more transparency, accountability, and responsiveness. Many expressed concerns that TxDOT was “out of control,” advancing its own agenda against objections of both the Legislature and the public.

Sunset staff found that this atmosphere of distrust permeated most of TxDOT’s actions and determined that it could not be an effective state transportation agency if trust and confidence were not restored. Significant changes are needed to begin this restoration; tweaking the status quo is simply not enough."

Also in its report, the Sunset Advisory Commission staff outlined several problems with our State's transportation agency and offered numerous recommendations for restructuring the Texas Transportation Commission to better meet our transportation needs. Some of these recommendations are as follows:

Abolish the five-member Commission and replace it with a single Commissioner appointed by the Governor. This Commissioner would also replace the Executive Director and would require Senate confirmation (or re-confirmation) every two years. If the Governor fails to make an appointment by February 28 of each odd-numbered year, then the responsibility to appoint would go to the Lieutenant Governor, in order to ensure that appointments are completed in a timely manner.

Establish a Transportation Legislative Oversight Committee comprised of legislators to oversee the Department and the State's transportation system. This Committee would be responsible for identifying critical problems with our state's transportation system and assess the cost-effectiveness of funds used for the transportation. Members of this Committee would also be granted hiring and firing authority.

Establish a transparent, well-defined and understandable system of project programming within TxDOT that integrates project milestones, forecasts and priorities.

Require TxDOT to develop and implement a public involvement policy that guides and encourages more meaningful public involvement efforts agency-wide.

Require a review process of every four-years for this agency, rather than every 12 years.

The issuance of this report is the first step of a four-step process, which includes staff report, public hearing (July), vote by the Sunset Commission (September), and action by the Legislature next regular legislative session, which begins in January 2009.

For more information about the Sunset Advisory Commission, please visit To view a copy of the Commission's staff report on TxDOT, please visit

Technorati Tags:, , , , , ,
Generated By Technorati Tag Generator, , , , , ,
Generated By Tag Generator Add to Digg DiggIt! Reddit Reddit Stumbleupon Stumble This Google Bookmarks Add to Google Bookmarks Yahoo My Web Add to Yahoo MyWeb Technorati Add to Technorati Faves Slashdot Slashdot it

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Seems an easier way to work a Super Highway:

"Abolish the five-member Commission and replace it with a single Commissioner appointed by the Governor."

The rest sounds reasonable.

Mrs. Unloadingzone

Mrs. Unloadingzone
"The Girl of my Dreams"