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AUSTIN–House Bill 4, commonly referred to as “the water bill,” passed overwhelmingly in the Texas House of Representatives with a 146-2 vote. Rep. Richard Peña Raymond, Chairman of The House Committee on Human Services, voted for the bill, which addresses the state’s water needs by creating a water bank that will provide loans for conservation projects, reservoir construction, and other initiatives to provide water for Texans for years to come.

“HB 4 is responsible legislation for the state’s water future and economic growth,” Rep. Raymond said. “And 20 percent of the money will go to conservation projects that will allow future generations to maintain their supply of clean water while protecting the environment it comes from.”

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Bills Considered by Chairman Raymond’s Committee
March 19, 2013 Hearing

HB 1536: Administrative Hearings to Recover Medicaid Overpayments
Author: Rep. Bobby Guerra
The office of inspector general of the Health and Human Services Commission has a duty to investigate suspicions of fraudulent Medicaid payments. Such investigations have been targeted at clinics with a higher volume of Medicaid claims, and the current procedures have resulted in the withholding of payments for services provided without a final determination on the merit of the claims against the providers, many of which are forced to close clinic doors or turn away patients who would otherwise qualify for Medicaid.

HB 1536 seeks to ensure due process by providing for a final appeal on allegations of fraudulent Medicaid overpayment so that a fair and impartial determination is rendered for both the state and Medicaid providers.

HB 165: Placement Decisions for Children in Foster Care
Author: Rep. Dan Flynn
To ensure that a child placed under the supervision of the Department of Family and Protective Services has the best possible quality of life, the placement options for the child must be considered carefully.


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Bills Considered by Chairman Raymond’s Committee
March 12, 2013 Hearing

HB 748: Innovation Strategies in Child Welfare Programs
Author: Chairman Richard Peña Raymond
On September 30, 2011, President Obama signed into law the Child and Family Services Improvement and Innovation Act. Among other changes, this act extended through fiscal year 2014 the authority of the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to approve certain child welfare demonstration projects to test innovative strategies in child welfare programs.

Currently, Texas receives Title IV-E funding, which  assists the state in providing foster care and adoption services. Without a proper waiver, Title IV-E funding cannot be used for preventive services or for services after a family has reunified in order to ensure that the reunification is safe and permanent. HB 748 seeks to address the limitation on the current use of Title IV-E funding by directing the state to seek the appropriate Title IV-E waiver.


HB 1098: Family Cost Share Provisions in the Early Childhood Intervention Program
Author: Rep. John Zerwas
Family cost share provisions currently generate less than one percent of the overall budget for the early Continue reading



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