News Release

TexPIRG Calls on NEW Sunset Advisory Appointees to Protect the Public Interest: Sunset Advisory Commission Must Reform TDI and TxDOT

For Immediate Release

AUSTIN—Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst announced this morning his appointments to the Sunset Advisory Commission, tapping former vice chairman Glenn Hegar (R-Katy) to take over as chairman for the upcoming review cycle. Also named to the commission are State Senators John Whitmire (D-Houston), Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) and Joan Huffman (R-Houston). Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen) will remain on the panel and Charles McMahen of Schulenberg is his public appointee.

Melissa Cubria, Advocate for the Texas Public Interest Research Group (TexPIRG), says, “I urge the distinguished members of the Sunset Advisory Commission to pass strong legislation that will truly reform the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).”

Partisan wrangling over a contentious voter ID bill caused countless pieces of legislation to die during the regular 81st Legislative Session, including bills to reauthorize and reform TDI and TxDOT. The Legislature reauthorized both state agencies for just 2 years during Governor Perry’s Special Session in July 2009. As a result, the Sunset Advisory Commission will have the opportunity to reform both state agencies once again.

“Texans deserve consumer-oriented state agencies that put their interests first. For too long, powerful special interest groups like health insurance companies and private toll road operators have prioritized profit over the long-term good of Texas citizens while state agencies have done little to regulate their sometimes questionable practices,” continues Cubria.

“Texans deserve relief from soaring health care costs and protections from bad road privatization deals. The Sunset Advisory Commission has another opportunity to reform both TDI and TxDOT and bring Texans much needed change. Let’s hope the special interests don’t get in the way,” concludes Cubria. 

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