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Budget Restores Significant Portions from the 2011 Cuts Pushed by Gov. Perry

AUSTIN — Rep. Richard Peña Raymond, Chairman of the House Human Services Committee, voted for the budget bill, SB 1, which passed unanimously with a 135-12 vote after a 12 hour debate by the full House of Representatives.

The bill increases the overall state budget for state operations to $193.8 billion for the next two-year 2014-2015 biennium, a 2.1% increase from the 2012-2013 biennium .The House also adopted $93.5 billion from the general fund, which invests in public schools, universities, and health care. That is a 7 % increase over the current budget.

“I am very proud that we were able to increase funding for public education by $2.5 billion but I still want to add another $2 billion from the rainy day fund and we will continue to work toward that,” said Rep. Raymond.

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Bills Considered by Chairman Raymond’s Committee
April 2, 2013 Hearing

HB 2072: Services for the Deaf
Author: Rep. Eddie Rodriguez

The lack of a state professional interpreters licensing program poses unnecessary and sometimes dangerous challenges for the hearing impaired population. Although Texas has had an interpreter certification program for the past few decades, certification is on a voluntarily basis and is not a requirement for practicing in the state. The absence of state regulation makes it difficult for providers of services to persons with hearing impairments to assess the quality of interpreters they use. The state can monitor the interpreters who choose to become certified for performance and ethics and address any issues through an established complaint process. The same is not true for noncertified interpreters. It is impossible to know how many uncertified interpreters are practicing in the state and,

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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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