Robert Romig, Project Manager
Next Review Date: 2032-2033 Review Cycle - 93rd Legislative Session
Last Review Cycle: 2020-2021 Review Cycle - 87th Legislative Session
Sunset Documents for 2020-2021 Review Cycle, 87th Legislative Session
Senate Bill 703 (May 2021)
Final Results of Last Sunset Review
- Continue the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), the Prescribed Burning Board, and the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation for 12 years.
- Ensure only the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation, not its statute, is subject to abolishment.
- Abolish the Early Childhood Health and Nutrition Interagency Council.
- Eliminate TDA’s aquaculture licensing program and the inactive Texas Rural Foundation.
- Clearly authorize the Prescribed Burning Board to adopt all rules related to prescribed burning, including the schedule of sanctions currently adopted by TDA, and continue the board as a semi-independent board administratively attached to the department.
- Remove the TDA staff appointee from the State Seed and Plant Board to align with constitutional requirements.
- Direct the State Seed and Plant Board to adopt policies regarding the separation of duties of board members from those of the department by February 1, 2021. (Management action – nonstatutory)
- Direct the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation to implement a reserve fund balance policy by February 1, 2021. (Management action – nonstatutory)
- Direct TDA to improve its stakeholder engagement, website content, and public information. (Management action – nonstatutory)
- Direct TDA to adopt a policy to ensure each rule undergoes meaningful review pursuant to state law, and to adopt policies implementing alternative rulemaking and dispute resolution, by February 1, 2021. (Management action – nonstatutory)
- Apply the standard across-the-board requirements regarding the separation of board and staff duties and developing and maintaining a system for receiving and acting on complaints to the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation.
- Update the standard across-the-board requirement related to developing and maintaining a complaints system and making information on complaint procedures available to the public. Specify TDA and the Texas Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation may not inform parties of the status of complaints if doing so would jeopardize an ongoing investigation.
- Abolish three and modify one of TDA’s reporting requirements.
- Update TDA’s statute to reflect the requirements of the person-first respectful language initiative.
GO TEXAN Program
- Re-establish the GO TEXAN program and its purpose in statute, ensuring the new statutory framework includes all elements of the current program, including promotion of agricultural, non-agricultural, and value-added products in Texas.
- Require TDA to study the GO TEXAN program, in partnership with the Sunset Commission, focused on the purpose and objectives of the program, and report any findings and recommendations to the Sunset Commission, speaker, lieutenant governor, and the governor’s office by December 31, 2022.
- Direct TDA to establish a mission, goals, objectives, and clear performance measures for the GO TEXAN program. (Management action – nonstatutory)
- Direct TDA to develop a policy to ensure expired members comply with department rules. (Management action – nonstatutory)
- Require TDA and the Prescribed Burning Board to develop guidelines for evaluating applicants’ criminal history in all of their occupational licensing programs.
- Direct TDA to comply with statute directing rules and procedures for military service members, veterans, and military spouses by February 1, 2021. (Management action – nonstatutory)
- Provide clear statutory authority for the Prescribed Burning Board to issue licenses by reciprocity for substantially equivalent states.
- Direct the Prescribed Burning Board to remove subjective criteria from its certification application by February 1, 2021. (Management action – nonstatutory)
- Remove subjective requirements for becoming a licensed seed producer.
- Remove an outdated notary requirement to allow electronic submission of home-delivered meal grant applications.
- Require a memorandum of understanding between TDA and the Office of the Attorney General to facilitate better coordination and handling of consumer protection cases.
- Statutorily require TDA to develop a strategic plan with public input for inspections that tracks and measures the effectiveness of its enforcement efforts.
- Direct TDA and the Health and Human Services Commission to share information about the licensing and registration status of food program participants. (Management action – nonstatutory)
- Direct TDA to collect and analyze data from its regulatory programs to increase their effectiveness. (Management action – nonstatutory)
- Direct TDA to establish a consistent policy for auditing continuing education providers and courses. (Management action – nonstatutory)
- Continue three of TDA’s statutory advisory committees and eliminate 24 advisory committees that are inactive or already abolished by operation of law.
- Authorize the department to create advisory committees by rule.
- Recreate the Citrus Budwood Advisory Council in statute to continue the composition, responsibilities, and oversight of the council currently found in Agriculture Code Chapter 19, and exempt it from the expiration provisions of Government Code Chapter 2110.
- Direct TDA to provide a list to the Sunset Commission of any committees under this recommendation that would be removed from statute, but that are actively being used and that TDA intends to re-create by February 1, 2021. (Management action – nonstatutory)
Mental Health Awareness
- Require TDA to develop a farmer mental health and suicide prevention program.
- Align state law with federal regulations to allow a hemp producer to harvest hemp up to 30 days after sample testing occurs instead of 20 days.