August 15, 2006
OSFR update

I didn't see anything new from Phillip regarding the Sunset Commission's hearings on the Office of State and Federal Relations (OSFR, see here for background), but Kimberly wrote this report for the AusChron:

The Sunset review of the Office of State-Federal Relations has provided a rare glimpse into how Texas attempts to influence Washington politics, and the news isn't all good. The picture that emerged at a hearing this week was of an office dominated by Gov. Rick Perry's staff, with little influence from the Legislature and no clear picture of just how much the state is spending on outside contracts through various agencies. Earlier this year, Perry came under fire for using two conservative lobby firms as outside consultants for the office, to the tune of $1.1 million. While such practice isn't unusual - Sunset review staff noted that most states place such offices under the governor, and many use outside consultants with broader contacts - the fact that Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Tom Craddick have taken little interest in meeting to sign off on the state's federal priorities is. Director Joey Longley, who is in charge of this Sunset review and even the last review of the agency 12 years ago, is recommending that OSFR be moved under the governor's office. Longley also told the Sunset Commission, however, that he is keenly aware that the House and Senate have not taken a vocal role in helping to shape and direct the policy of the office. Committee members, for their part, said it was impossible to force Dewhurst and Craddick to the table. The Sunset Commission will make its recommendations on OSFR in November.

Link via Vince, who has more.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 15, 2006 to That's our Lege | TrackBack