They have a saying here in the Lone Star state: “Don’t mess with Texas.” It’s a statement of pride and embodies the rugged determination which has made Texas a standard-bearer in liberty and freedom. As you probably know by now, I’m a graduate of the University of Tennessee, the Volunteers, and I take great pride in the inextricable and historic bond between that phrase and the state of Texas.
So when Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick named me as his civilian appointee to the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, I was deeply honored. And y’all know it just made the heads of the progressive socialists who have infiltrated Texas explode. They REALLY do not care for minority conservatives whatsoever.
The mission of the Texas Sunset process is simple: “It is the regular assessment of the continuing need for a state agency or program to exist. While standard legislative oversight is more concerned with agency compliance with legislative policies, Sunset starts with a more basic question: Do the agency’s functions continue to be needed? The process creates a unique opportunity and powerful incentive for the Legislature and stakeholders to look closely at each agency and make key improvements to how state government works.”
The Texas Sunset Advisory Commission has five members from the State Senate and one public member appointed by the Lieutenant Governor, and five members of the State House and one public member appointed by the Speaker of the House. Senate and House members serve four-year terms while public members serve two-year terms. For those of you who don’t know, the Texas Legislature meets every two years for a session lasting some 140 days. Of course they’re summoned back to Austin during the off-session periods for hearings and other important committee work.
Yesterday I was in Austin at the State Capitol, a beautiful structure, visiting with the policy and budget staff of Lieutenant Governor Patrick as well as the Sunset Commission staff director. I was receiving my basic orientation to the process, and specifically receiving briefings on the agencies up for sunset review this cycle.
Now, consider this, how great would it be if we had such a process at the federal government level? If we had a commission which reviewed government agencies and their functions with the question being whether their functions are needed? Our states are the “laboratories of democracy” and if there was any practice that should be exported to Washington D.C., this one certainly meets that criteria.
Here’s the deal however: the Sunset Commission staff does their review and submits their report to the advisory commission. The advisory commission reviews and decides to fully support, support with additional recommendations, or reject the staff’s report. There are public hearings where agencies can testify before the commission to make their case, because the staff report is made public. What a novel idea to have such done in complete transparency before the taxpayer! Just to be clear, it’s not the job of the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission to make policy decisions. The Commission exists to make decisions on the effectiveness and efficiency of government agencies and ensure they’re being good stewards of the taxpayers’ resources and safeguarding their trust.
The recommendations of the advisory commission are packaged into legislation that goes before the Texas legislature for final vote — and yes, they get a chance to debate and offer amendments.
Now, I can just imagine the lobbyists who will try to impact the recommendations and final decisions. In Washington D.C. it’s the K-Street lobby which owns that city. At some point we have to restore governance back to the people, not special interests.
I’m sure this process isn’t perfect, but ask yourself what would happen if the Sunset Commission didn’t exist? Something that does help with this process is the fact that Texas, just as many other states, has to balance its budget — another novel idea for the Federal government.
There is something rather perplexing when you consider Texas, its system of governance, and its economic success. If you do a comparative economic analysis between Texas and California, well, there IS no comparison. As a matter of fact, an estimate1,000 people a day move to Texas, and if you’ve been here recently, you know many businesses and major corporations are calling Texas home.
So why do folks leave states, such as California, that are fiscal and economic Armageddon to come to Texas, and still embrace the failing policies of the place they departed? I mean seriously, why come to Texas and try to make it like, hmm, California? And I’m serious about this — there is a book and the liberal progressive left has a goal, to “turn Texas blue.” My question is simply, why?
Are there folks who’d prefer great deficits and ineffective and inefficient government over what exists in Texas now? Could it be there are folks who would prefer a CALPERS type system here in Texas that bankrupts the state? I don’t get it, but I refer to it as the “locust effect” of liberal progressive socialism.
Once they’ve destroyed the resources of one state, they move and look to destroy a new host. And it appears the left has clearly set Texas in its sights — and liberty-loving conservatives should take them seriously. Because what is a unique irony is that Texas, this great bastion of conservatism and a standard-bearing Red state has Austin as its capitol. And Austin, Texas sure ain’t reflective of Texas as a whole – as a matter of fact, many of the major cities in Texas are Democrat-controlled, Dallas, where I live, certainly is. Only Ft. Worth and Tarrant County stand as major urban areas in Texas that are red.
You just have to wonder, what is the future of the Texas Sunset Advisory Committee if the left are successful in turning Texas blue? Don’t laugh, because the Texas legislature struggled with defunding sanctuary cities here in the Lone Star State.
I’m excited about serving the state of Texas on the Sunset Advisory Commission. When I think about where I’ll be in 10 to15 years from now, I can certainly see myself in a nice place down in Texas Hill Country — perfect for motorcycle riding. But my deep concern is the infiltration of progressive socialists to this great state and the fact that they’re lookin’ to “mess with Texas.”
Methinks that dawg dont hunt…but they’re sure gonna try.