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How Sunset Works

Sunset answers a basic question for the Texas Legislature: Are an agency’s functions needed, and if so, how can the agency work better and save money for Texans?

Below is the general outline of the Sunset process and how the public can participate.  For more information, read a summary of Sunset’s Impact, or view Sunset in Texas in the sidebar.

Sunset Staff Evaluation

Sunset staff performs extensive research and analysis to evaluate the need for, performance of, and improvements to the agency under review.


Sunset Commission Staff

  • Reviews agency’s self-evaluation report
  • Receives input from interested parties
  • Evaluates agency and identifies problems
  • Develops recommendations
  • Publishes staff report
Public input is confidential

Sunset Publishes Staff Report

Sunset Commission Deliberation

The Sunset Commission conducts a public hearing to take testimony on the staff report and the agency overall. The Sunset Commission conducts a second meeting to vote on which changes to recommend to the Texas Legislature.


Public Hearings

  • Sunset staff presents its report and recommendations
  • Agency presents its response
  • Sunset Commission hears public testimony and receives written comments
  • Sunset Commission meets again to consider and vote on recommendations
Public input is published on the website

Sunset Commission Makes Decisions

Legislative Action

The Texas Legislature considers Sunset's recommendations and makes final decisions.


Texas Legislature

  • Sunset bill on an agency is drafted and filed
  • Sunset bills go through normal legislative process
  • The Senate and the House conduct committee hearings and debate the bill
  • Bill passes or fails adoption
  • Governor signs, vetoes, or allows bill to become law without signature
Agency continues with improvements.
Agency is abolished but may continue business for up to one year, or its functions are transferred to another agency