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Also Appointed to Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee; Will Head Effort to Protect Children, Medicaid and CHIP

Austin – Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, (R-San Antonio) today named Representative Richard Peña Raymond (D-Laredo) as Chairman of the crucial Human Services Committee that will take the lead role in protecting children, as well as the Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP).

Rep. Raymond’s appointment comes as vital state initiatives are facing a projected deficit of over $26 billion. Part of Chairman Raymond’s task will be to defend Health security for hard-working families and to maintain a Child Protective Services Agency that will truly protect our most vulnerable children.

“I consider this assignment as vital to Laredo, the Rio Grande Valley and all of Texas.  How we move forward on Medicaid and CHIP is vital to the health care of thousands of Texans and to our economy,” said Chairman Raymond.

“Health security is part of our state’s economic system. It is a statewide commitment to health for Texans and a commitment to doing what is right. To care about our fellow Texans is to care about their health,” said Chairman Raymond, who has extensive experience as a former 8 year member of the Appropriations Committee.

The Human Services Committee is also responsible for physical and mental health – aging, alcohol and drug abuse, care of the blind and deaf. Also protective, regulatory, and rehabilitation services, including Child Protective Services.

“If we don’t have a strong Child Protective Services Agency, children’s lives will be lost due to abuse,” Rep. Raymond said. “We should not let one child die, and we must reduce child abuse — period.  This is an important assignment, and I intend to devote all the strength God has given me in order to meet the challenges before us.”

Rep. Raymond was also appointed to the Committee on Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence, which has oversight over all Judicial Courts, the Office of the Attorney General and all civil court procedures and matters.