Tuesday, January 08, 2008

"The Sunset Advisory Commission is scheduled to review the often controversial Texas Department of Transportation in 2009."

TxDOT critics appointed to key state commission

Jan 8, 2008

by Will Lutz
The Lone Star Report
Copyright 2008

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst today announced his appointments to the Sunset Advisory Commission, and his appointments could spell trouble for the current brass at the Texas Department of Transportation.

Dewhurst appointed the following people: Sen. Glenn Hegar (R-Katy), Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa (D-McAllen), and Michael Stevens as a public appointee. Dewhurst designated Hegar as the vice chairman of the commission -- the lead Senator on the Sunset Advisory Commission. The appointments are important because the Sunset Advisory Commission is scheduled to review the often controversial Texas Department of Transportation in 2009.

Hegar made stopping the corridor one of the key themes of his successful Senate race in 2006.

Stevens is known for his work on the Governor's Business Council and for chairing the council's Transportation Task Force. The Task Force released a report critical of Department of Transportation's estimated costs of building roads in metropolitan areas.

The Sunset Advisory Commission was originally created to determine if state agencies needed abolition or consolidation. But its mandate has since been expanded to examine how to improve the structure of state agencies. The commission's recommendations become drafted in bill form and then those bills are considered by the Legislature in the next legislative session.

Hegar, Stevens, and Hinojosa join Sens. Bob Deuell (R-Greenville), Kim Brimer (R-Arlington), and Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) who are serving the last two years of their four-year terms. Hegar and Hinojosa were appointed to four-year terms, and Stevens was appointed to a two-year term. They join six appointees of the House speaker on the commission."I truly appreciate the willingness of all three of these individuals to serve on this important commission," Dewhurst said. "I know each of them will provide knowledgeable and thought-provoking contributions as the Sunset Advisory Commission undertakes the review of some of our most important state agencies."

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