Texas Youth Commission report recommends various measures

Nolan Hicks

The Texas Youth Commission should remain an independent agency for at least another six years after implementing many of the reforms mandated by the Legislature in 2007, according to a Texas Sunset Advisory Commission staff report.

“Staff turnover rates are down but the TYC continues to have difficulty staffing specialized treatment positions,” according to the commission’s report. “The agency can still improve the number of youth enrolling in and completing needed treatment.”

The commission also recommended Thursday that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality step up enforcement, while not addressing the air-quality permit disputes between the state agency and the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

The commission’s staff also recommended changing the name of the Texas Railroad Commission to the Texas Oil and Gas Commission to better reflect the responsibilities of the agency. The report also suggested the position of commissioner, which is elected, be replaced by a board appointed by the governor.

“[The recommendation] isn’t a surprise because it doesn’t have anything to do with railroads anymore,” said Sherri Greenberg, a lecturer at the LBJ School. “Whether or not the Legislature wants to give the governor, any governor, the power to appoint all of the members to the board is another question entirely.”