On August 29 the Sunset Advisory Commission met to take up several agenda items. This report covers Commission decisions on River Authorities.

GBRA Commission Decision Summary

RRA Commission Decision Summary

NRA Commission Decision Summary

This report is intended to give you an overview and highlight of the discussions on the various topics the committee took up. It is not a verbatim transcript of the hearing but is based upon what was audible or understandable to the observer and the desire to get details out as quickly as possible with few errors or omissions.

  • Birdwell – Modification to recommendation 6.1.D directs the Texas Legislative Council (TLC) to prepare legislation codifying and updating the governing laws for the Guadalupe-Blanco, Red River, and Nueces River Authorities for introduction in the 87th Legislative Session – recommendation requested Sunset Staff to work with all three river authorities, the Texas Water Development Board, and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to come up with proposed updates
    • Clarifies what specific changes TLC can make to each river authorities governing laws
    • Similar modification was adopted by the Sunset Commission during the last Sunset Cycle for the Sulfur Basin River Authority and the Palo Duro River Authority
  • Birdwell moved adoption of the modification
  • The motion was adopted without objection


  • Nevarez – Modification to Recommendation 6.2 – similar to the last modification – for the GBRA and RRRA and NRA related to contract services
    • Directs river authorities to compile vendor lists and best-value lists for cost savings every 5 years, and to use that for reevaluating contracts
  • Hall – by stating that they do this every 5 years, are we keeping them from doing this more frequently if they wanted to?
    • Nevarez – do not believe it keeps them from doing this, just makes a time certain
  • Nevarez moved the modification be adopted
  • The modification was adopted without objection


  • Watson – Modification to Recommendation 6.3 – modifies recommendation 6.3 to clarify that while a person may give public comment on any topic whether on the agenda or not, there may be no discussion or deliberation on the subject by the board other than to place the item on the agenda for the subsequent meeting
    • This is in line with the open meeting act and government code and is meant to ensure compliance with open meeting act
  • Watson moved adoption of the modification
  • The modification was adopted without objection
  • Issue 6 as modified was adopted


  • Buckingham – New Recommendation 1 – recommends the State Auditor’s Office (SAO) conduct an audit of the Red River Authority by December 1, 2022 for the purpose of evaluating the river authorities addressing of the challenges identified by Sunset Commission
    • Recommendation would not have a significant financial impact on the river authority
  • Buckingham moved adoption
  • New Recommendation 1 was adopted without objection


  • Buckingham – New Recommendation 2 – directs the Red River Authority to provide quarterly reports to the Sunset Commission beginning January 31, 2019 for a period of two years to coincide with Sunset’s compliance review
    • Similar recommendation was adopted last cycle for Texas Board of Veterinary Examiners
  • Buckingham – Modification to New Recommendation 2 – directs the Red River Authority to provide reports to the commission on a semiannual basis as opposed to quarterly
  • Buckingham moved adoption of the modification and the new recommendation
  • New Recommendation 2 as modified was adopted without objection


  • Nevarez –New Recommendation 3 – directing GBRA and RRA to adopt a formal written 5-year strategic plan and engage in standard strategic planning process
    • Require the plan be made public and updated as needed
  • Nevarez – Modification to Recommendation 3 – to make this a management action and not a statutory change
  • Nevarez moved adoption of the recommendation as modified
  • New Recommendation 3 as modified was adopted without objection


  • Nevarez – New Recommendation 4 – addresses staffing shortages – a management action for NRA and RRA to implement an internship
  • Nichols – agree that they need to think about replacements but think the commission is getting too prescriptive. Would like to strike prescribing the internship and only require them to take action to prepare for future retirements
    • Nevarez – believes this specific option is a way to address the option without being vague
  • Nevarez – proposed modification to strike the internship language and keep “shall take action to prepare for future retirements.”
  • Sunset staff noted that if this modification is made and adopted it would be the same as the previously adopted Recommendation 5.2, making this new recommendation ineffective
  • Nevarez pulled down the new recommendation
  • Paddie – believe 5.2 speaks to only one authority (NRA)
    • Sunset staff – recommendation 4.4 is substantially similar for RRA – so both authorities are considered
  • Nevarez – Modification to New Recommendation 4 – RRA should take action to prepare for future retirements and workforce changes
  • Nevarez moved adoption of New Recommendation 4 as modified
  • New Recommendation 4 as modified was adopted without objection


  • Pataki – Recommendation #5 – use portion of raw water rates to fund GBRA dam maintenance because the revenue brought in by the GBRA is insufficient to cover costs of needed repair
    • Pulled down the recommendation noting the Sunset Commission is not the appropriate avenue for this recommendation as many other agencies must be included in the solution
    • Requested the legislature take this recommendation into consideration during the next legislative session