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March 12, 2001

The Honorable Rick Perry
The Honorable William R. Ratliff
The Honorable James E. “Pete” Laney
Members of the 77th Legislature

Fellow Texans:

I am pleased to present my report pursuant to the charge given my agency under Senate Concurrent Resolution 12, passed by the 76th Legislature.

The charge I received in SCR 12 specifically directed that the Comptroller’s office “develop strategies for increasing the efficiency and reducing the complexity of fee collection and dispersal by county and municipal clerks.” To ensure that my proposals would be useful and workable, my staff worked with, and listened to, the concerns of representatives of the Texas Municipal League, the Texas Association of Counties, the Texas Court Clerks Association, and the Justices of the Peace and Constables Association of Texas.

Thanks in part to their valuable contributions, I am presenting a series of findings and recommendations that, if enacted, would greatly reduce the administrative burden on local courts and help ensure that state programs funded by court costs and fees achieve the benefits intended.

These proposals would entail a one-time cost to state government and a similar gain to local governments, due to the shifting of some payments from one fiscal year to the next. More importantly, however, they promise to yield significant, ongoing savings by simplifying the administrative and auditing requirements placed on both state and local officials.

This report is available online at www.window.state.tx.us. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance on this or other matters.

Thanks for all that you do for Texas.

Sincerely,

signed, Carole Keeton Rylander
CAROLE KEETON RYLANDER
Texas Comptroller