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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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Bills Considered by Chairman Raymond’s Committee
March 26, 2013 Hearing


HB 2383: Eligibility for Medical Assistance
Author: Rep. Craig Eiland

Currently, some applicants for Medicaid who have a life insurance policy must surrender the policy for an amount far below its actual value in order to be eligible for benefits, at which point the state begins to pay Medicaid expenses for the person. A better option for the individual and the state would be a life settlement contract in which the policy is sold to a third party for more than its cash surrender value but less than its net death benefit, allowing a consumer to use the policy to help pay for long-term care expenses and delay the consumer’s reliance on the Medicaid program.

Life settlement contracts, which currently are regulated by the Texas Department of Insurance, would generate significant, recurring Medicaid savings to the state if the state were able to advise owners of a life insurance policy of the option to convert policies into a long-term care benefit plan instead of abandoning the plan and relying on state assistance. HB 2383 seeks to establish provisions relating to the use of a life settlement contract for the provision of certain long-term care services.

 

HB 817: Emergency Care for Unaccompanied Minors
Author: Rep. Dawnna Dukes

Over the past few legislative sessions, changes have been made to the laws governing emergency shelters

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