Carole Keeton Rylander
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
After a year of tireless, dedicated and unprecedented work, my e-Texas Commission presented me with an impressive review of what’s wrong and what’s right with Texas government. Based on The Report of the e-Texas Commission, I have developed and am presenting to the 77th Legislature a comprehensive package of proposed reforms that I am hopeful will be turned into the laws and policies I believe Texas needs as we enter the Internet Age of the 21st Century.
I believe that government will be seen as bigger, dumber and slower than ever before if we don’t become smarter, smaller and faster right now. The 308 recommendations in this report will reshape and reform government as we know it.
In November 1999, I charged e-Texas to meet six goals:
Co-chaired by Dr. Wendy Lee Gramm, the Honorable Thomas G. Loeffler and Hector De Leon, this public-private partnership between my Texas Performance Review staff, a 17-member citizens’ commission and 139 citizen volunteers proved to be a success far beyond my expectations.
E-Texas: Smaller, Smarter, Faster Government details the best of the Commission’s groundbreaking work. Each proposal with a significant potential financial impact is accompanied by a detailed fiscal analysis certified by my Revenue Estimating Division. All told, when these recommendations are adopted, Texans can see the price they pay for their state government cut by more than $1 billion. And at the same time we will all see its excellence, efficiency and effectiveness increased dramatically.
I say when — and not if — these recommendations are adopted, because they must be adopted. For the sake of our children and grandchildren, we must act. E-Texas speaks directly to the pressing challenges facing our state. From reshaping education, to reforming transportation, to creating a seamless, new “e-government” that is customer friendly and consumer savvy, Texans expect their public servants to make this state the shining example of what can be.
I have two heroes — my Dad, Dean Page Keeton, and Governor Sam Houston. My Dad told me “It’s not the dollars you make, it’s the difference you make.” Sam Houston wrote in 1833: “Texas is the finest portion of the globe that has ever blessed my vision.” They were both right.
E-Texas gives us the opportunity to make a difference for the finest portion of the globe that has ever been blessed. I hope this is the start of a process that will remake Texas government for a new era.
Carole Keeton Rylander