Susan Combs, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Susan Combs is committed to making state government work better for Texans, through open, responsive, and transparent government.
Combs brings a strong, fiscally conservative philosophy to the Comptroller’s office, and serves as the state’s treasurer, check writer, tax collector, state procurement officer, and revenue estimator. Combs insists that taxpayer money be spent wisely and that both citizens and their elected officials have a true accounting of the state’s finances.
On her fourth day in office, Combs put all of her agency’s expenditures on the web. Six months later she posted expenditures for all state agencies. This has been widely seen as the nation’s most innovative transparency effort and numerous other states contacted her office for guidance for their own state. Most recently she issued reports enabling all Texans to find out who is taxing them, what it costs, how much debt they owe, and the condition of all public pensions.
Since being elected Texas Comptroller in 2006 and re-elected in 2010, she has driven sweeping reforms in state purchasing and contracting, saving nearly $12 million in her agency alone. Across state agency purchasing, her efforts have saved over $100 million through volume purchasing. Because she knows that citizens have a right to their unclaimed property, she has returned $897 million to its rightful owners, an amount unmatched by her predecessors in the same time period.
Dedicated to further securing private data for citizens and businesses and combating identity threats, Combs joined the Advisory Board of the University of Texas Center for Identity in the summer of 2011. In this role, she created and chairs the Child ID Task Force, which is responsible for developing solutions to prevent childhood identity theft.
Combs has long been a crusader for Texas children, first serving Texans as an Assistant District Attorney in Dallas County where she handled child abuse cases. In addition, as the first woman elected as Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Combs developed the nation’s most sweeping childhood nutrition policies in public schools to combat obesity, receiving national recognition.
Combs is also a strong private property rights advocate who in 1995 co-authored and passed Texas’ landmark private property rights legislation fighting federal government overreach. She has worked for many years to ensure military installations can carry out their critical operations in the face of increased endangered species regulation, by working to find innovative solutions. Combs is the presiding officer of the statewide Interagency Task Force on Economic Growth and Endangered Species, and maintains the Keeping Texas First website to track the economic impact of federal action on endangered species, air and water, as well as providing information to affected communities.
Combs understands the private sector is the engine of the economy, so as Comptroller, she will continue to fight for limited federal regulation to keep the economy strong, as well as ensure government transparency at all levels.