Chairman Craddick Applauds Legislature for Funding Railroad Commission
FY 2016-17 Budget Includes Additional Inspectors, IT Upgrades
AUSTIN – Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick today thanked the 84th Texas Legislature for approving funding that will strengthen the agency’s regulatory functions in the state’s budget bills Sunday.
“I am grateful the Legislature recognizes the importance of ensuring the fees the Commission collects from the oil and gas industry are in turn appropriated back to the agency so that we are able to effectively regulate the state’s biggest economic contributor. Over the last biennium, with help from the Legislature during recent budgeting cycles, the Railroad Commission has made significant improvements toward a technology overhaul, increased staff support and efficiencies within our processes,” Craddick said. “The upcoming biennium’s appropriation will allow us to build on those achievements in an effort to continue to raise our standards of service to both the public and Texas’ oil and gas industry.”
House Bill 1 appropriates approximately $87 million in fiscal years 2016 and 2017 and 820 FTEs for the biennium. The funding includes the following exceptional items, with a focus on additional staff inspectors and IT program upgrades:
- Provides $2.8 million in addition to our base budget;
- Authorizes 20 additional FTEs and $2.2M to enhance safety inspections;
- Includes $150,000 to replace microfiche readers for the Commission’s Central Record Department.
“Texas has long been recognized for providing an exceptional climate for business and assured safety for our communities through the Railroad Commission’s strong regulatory structure,” Craddick said. “Fully funding the Commission is critical to the long term success of our oil and gas industry for the benefit of all Texans, and we look forward to continued work with the Legislature toward this effort.”
House Bill 1 is currently pending the Governor’s signature into law.