• May 21, 2018

State Agencies Undergo Sunset Review Process, Part IV – Texas Medical Board

State Agencies Undergo Sunset Review Process, Part IV – Texas Medical Board

State Agencies Undergo Sunset Review Process, Part IV – Texas Medical Board 150 150 Elect Todd Hunter

State Agencies Undergo Sunset Review Process, Part IV – Texas Medical Board

To identify and eliminate government waste, duplication and general inefficiencies in state agencies, the Texas Legislature established the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission (Commission) in 1977. The Texas Sunset Advisory Commission is a legislative body which is made up of six Texas Senate members and six Texas House of Representative members. The Commission is tasked with reviewing the policies and programs of more than 150 state agencies. The sunset review process is designed to review each of these agencies every twelve years. This review is done by taking up a certain number of the state agencies each session when the Texas Legislature convenes.

In reviewing the various agencies, the Commission examines the continual need for the agency. A review is made of duplication of policies or programs with other agencies. The review also looks at new and innovative ways to improve each agency’s operations and activities. During the sunset review process, the Commission holds public hearings and allows the public to provide their thoughts, ideas and general perception of the agency’s need. After each agency is reviewed, the Commission then recommends actions to the full Texas Legislature. In the coming weeks, I’d like to take some time to highlight a few of the many agencies currently undergoing Sunset Review.

One of the agencies currently in the sunset review process is the Texas Medical Board (TMB). The TMB is the state agency charged with keeping Texas patients safe through the licensure and regulation of Texas physicians. The TMB staff also serves as staff for the Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners, the Texas Physician Assistant Board, the Texas Board of Medical Radiologic Technology, and the Texas Board of Respiratory Care.

TMB has a long history in the state of Texas, dating back to 1837 when the Medical Practice Act was written by Dr. Anson Jones, one of the few formally trained physicians in Texas at that time. The Congress of the Republic of Texas then created the Board of Medical Censors for the purposes of administering examinations and granting medical licenses. The Board was discontinued by legislative act in 1848, but another regulatory law for physicians was enacted in 1873. The Texas State Board of Medical Examiners was formed in 1907. It consisted of 11 physician members appointed biennially by the governor and confirmed by the senate. In 1931, the legislature increased the number to 12 physicians appointed for six-year terms. Sunset legislation passed in 1981 provided that nine physician members be Doctors of Medicine, three be doctors of osteopathy, and that three public members be added. In 1993, three additional public members were added, bringing the total to 18. In 2003, an additional public member was added, bringing the board to its current total of 19 members. The 79th Legislature changed the name to Texas Medical Board, effective September 1, 2005. If you would like to learn more visit Texas Medical Board.

Over the coming weeks, I would like to outline and present to you other state agencies undergoing the sunset review process. If you would like to learn more on your own visit the Sunset Advisory Commission or other agencies.

If you have any questions regarding the Texas Medical Board or the sunset review process, please don’t hesitate to contact either my Capitol or District office. My offices are available to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).

– State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32

Rep. Hunter represents Nueces (Part) County. He can be contacted at todd.hunter@house.texas.gov or at 512-463-0672.