Breckenridge Texan

Sunset Commission scraps plan to close local driver license office

Sunset Commission scraps plan to close local driver license office
August 29
16:32 2018

The Texas Sunset Advisory Commission has dropped the proposal to close Department of Public Safety driver license offices around the state, according to Stephens County Justice of the Peace Michael Roach and Rep. Mike Lang, who represents Stephens County.

Roach is attending a Texas Association of Counties conference in Austin today. He said that during the legislative report of the conference, the legislative director for TAC announced to the attendees that the Sunset Commission started their meeting this morning and immediately had a motion to scrap the proposal suggesting the closure of the driver license offices. The Breckenridge DPS office had been on the list of potential closures.

According to Roach, the members of the Sunset Commission then voiced their opposition to the proposal, stating how detrimentally it would affect rural counties.

“I think it’s a win for rural counties,” Roach said. “So, I’m glad that they did the right thing and allowed those services to be still offered in rural counties. We’re just going to have to keep our eye on the ball in rural counties to make sure the issues in the future like this don’t happen where they discontinue services in rural counties and move those to more metropolitan areas. That’s just not going to work.”

Roach said Sen. Charles Perry and Lang were instrumental in advocating for the rural counties on the issue. “That was great. They were really on top of it,” he said.

Lang, who represents District 60, issued an open letter today stating:

This morning, the Sunset Commission voted to reject plans to close DPS offices around the state. The text of the recommendation read “Recommendation 1.1: Require DPS to develop and implement a plan to close inefficient driver license offices.” The final vote tally on the measure was 11 nays, 0 ayes.

Since these closures were suggested, my office has closely monitored this situation. Understanding your concerns and the importance of keeping these offices open, my staff and I have been in constant contact with our district, DPS, members of the Sunset Commission and legislators in the House and Senate.

I would like to thank Chairman Birdwell and all members of the Sunset Commission for their hard work and their help for our rural communities. I am very pleased with the results of today’s hearing and hope that the legislature will continue to make the best decisions for Texans so that we can all have access to these services.

Story by Tony Pilkington and Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

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