Generally speaking, the hijackers have one of two agendas. The first are regulated industries and other interests that want to revise an agency’s operations or mission in a way that benefits them. An example would be oil and gas industry lobbyists who have battled against moving regulatory hearings from the Texas Railroad Commission, where they have a lot of clout, to the State Office of Administrative Hearings, where they don’t.

“From my observation, when a Railroad Commission Sunset bill doesn’t pass, it’s certainly a lobby victory,” Straus said. “I don’t think it’s a member problem — I think it’s a lobby thing. A lot of people get hired in the lobby to work these things, especially when it involves an agency like the Railroad Commission, or TDI [the Texas Department of Insurance] or TxDOT or some of those others.”

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