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Press Releases

Leading up to the 85th Legislative Session it became apparent that the state foster care system and Child Protective Services program were having serious issues.

Child Protective Services (CPS) is the program that investigates reports of child abuse and neglect. If investigators find that a child is not safe, services are provided in the home to address these issues or the child is removed and placed into foster care with the eventual goal of the child being adopted.

The agency responsible for the CPS program, the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), was having a hard time finding foster homes for many children forcing them to sleep in state office buildings instead of homes. Additionally, a lack of funding within the agency created a situation where low-paid caseworkers who investigate child abuse and help children find homes were leaving the agency to find less stressful and better paying jobs, causing remaining caseworkers to get behind in their investigations.

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AUSTIN – Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, today appointed Representative Richard Peña Raymond, Chairman of the House Committee on Human Services, as one of five State Representatives to serve on the powerful Texas Sunset Advisory Commission. This high-ranking commission is essential for maintaining transparency, accountability and efficiency in state government.

Rep. Raymond will help lead the sunset review process for 21 state boards, commissions and agencies. Part of the veteran legislator’s task will be to influence how best to conduct thorough evaluations of each agency scheduled for Sunset review and make fundamental changes to an agency’s mission or operations if needed in the interest of the people.

“This selection is an honor, and I appreciate the Speaker appointing me to this important position,” said Rep. Raymond. “As Chairman of the House Committee on Human Services, I have worked with many of these agencies.  I believe that we will be able to identify improvements we can make that will be important for the entire state.”

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It is not too late for Texans to get vaccinated and protect themselves during peak flu season

AUSTIN — By December, many Texans may mistakenly feel that it is too late to get vaccinated against the flu.  But December through February is the peak season for the flu in Texas and by getting immunized during December, the vaccine will offer several more months of protection.  As part of National Influenza Vaccination week from December 8th – 14th, a wide array of Texas pharmacists, health care organizations and legislators are making a push to educate people on the importance of receiving the flu vaccination.  This outreach will highlight cultural aspects unique to Texas, and be geared towards all Texas residents and workers.

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