In order to identify and eliminate government waste, duplication and general inefficiencies in state agencies, the Texas Legislature established the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission (Commission) in 1977. The Texas Sunset Advisory Commission is a legislative body which is made up of six Texas Senate members and six Texas House of Representative members. The Commission is tasked with reviewing the policies and programs of more than 150 state agencies. The sunset review process is designed to review each of these agencies every twelve years. This review is done by taking up a certain number of the state agencies each session when the Texas Legislature convenes.
In reviewing the various agencies, the Commission examines the continual need for the agency. A review is made of duplication of policies or programs with other agencies. Also, the review looks at new and innovative was to improve each agency’s operations and activities. During the sunset review process, the Commission holds public hearings, and allows the public to provide their thoughts, ideas and general perception of the agency’s need. After each agency is reviewed, the Commission then recommends actions to the full Texas Legislature.
One of the agencies currently in the sunset review process is the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (TBAE). The TBAE is setup as a multi-professional regulatory agency that oversees architects, interior designers and landscape architects. The agency was established in 1937 by the 45th Texas Legislature. The Legislature established the agency after an explosion at the New London School killed 295 students and teachers. The agency’s mission statement is to “to ensure a safe built environment for Texas by regulating the professions of architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design.”
The TBAE duties and responsibilities are outlined in Subchapter B of the Occupation Code, Chapters 1051, 1052, 1053. The agency is overseen by a nine-member Board which is appointed by the Governor of Texas and confirmed by the Texas Senate. The Board is made up of four architects members, one interior designer member, one landscape architect member and three members who represent the public, of which at least one is a person with a disability. The day-to-day operations of the agency are handled by the staff, and overseen by the executive director, who is hired by and serves at the will of the Board.
If you would like to learn more about the TBAE agency and their functions, you can go to www.tbae.state.tx.us . On their site you can learn about the agency’s regulatory laws and enforcement responsibilities and other information.
Over the coming weeks, I will take the opportunity to outline and present to you other state agencies currently undergoing the sunset review process. If you would like to learn more on your own about the Sunset Advisory Commission or other agencies undergoing the sunset review process, you can go to www.sunset.state.tx.us . Some of the agencies that that I will be outlining are the Texas Education Agency, Texas Lottery Commission, Texas Ethics Commission, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, State Commission on Judicial Conduct, Texas Railroad Commission, State Preservation Board, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.
-State Representative Todd Hunter