Raymond, Richard Peņa
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 08/26/2015
Chairman Raymond Appointed to HHSC Transition Legislative Oversight Committee
AUSTIN – Representative Richard Peña Raymond (Laredo), Chairman of the House Committee on Human Services, has been appointed by the Speaker of the House to the Health and Human Services (HHSC) Transition Legislative Oversight Committee. Chairman Raymond will continue the effort that he, Chairman Four Price, Representative Cindy Burkett and other members of the Sunset Commission began last year. The goal being to work with HHSC Executive Commissioner Chris Traylor and other key agency personnel, in order to transition the HHSC Enterprise into a more efficient and effective operation. They will work to realize the goals laid out by the Sunset Commission and passed in S.B. 200.
"I look forward to continuing this effort. It has been great working with Chairman Four Price and Representative Burkett, and I also look forward to working with Vice Chair Toni Rose, as well as the Senate members and the Gubernatorial Appointees. It's an extremely important Committee and I believe we will deliver great results," said Chairman Raymond. "The Speaker put forth a great Oversight Committee and having Representative Four Price as Co-Chair will really help us succeed," Chairman Raymond noted.
During the interim, the reorganization of HHSC’s delivery system underwent special review by the high-profile Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, which Chairman Raymond sits on. Chairman Raymond and his colleagues on the Commission studied the five agency commission and made recommendations for a more efficient and organized system that would better serve families and all Texans across the state.
"I also want to recognize the work of Ken Levine, Executive Director of the Sunset Commission, and his staff on these issues. Many of the recommendations we will be implementing were put forth by Ken and his folks," added Chairman Raymond.
Building on the Sunset review, SB 200 was filed for the 84th legislative session to update the structure of HHSC. The legislation was approved by both chambers including being vetted and passed out of Raymond’s committee before ultimately signed into law. As of result, the transition legislative oversight committee was formed to help guide the development of the new agency structure. Raymond’s leadership during the Sunset review process and as Chair of the Human Services Committee will be vital for the appointed panel as they facilitate the transfer of functions as the agencies consolidate (while minimizing interruptions to the delivery of health services) and work with the HHSC Executive Commissioner on the restructuring process.
"We are all looking forward to working with Executive Commissioner Chris Traylor, he was extremely helpful in helping us make the case for this legislation during the Session. He has a deep understanding what the legislature hopes to accomplish and knows how to help us get there," said Chairman Raymond.
The HHSC Transition Legislative Oversight Committee is made up of four members of the House of Representatives, appointed by the Speaker of the House; four members of the Senate, appointed by the Lieutenant Governor; and three members of the public, appointed by the Governor.
As chair of the House Human Services Committee, Raymond and his nine member panel have oversight over the HHSC system which is currently comprised of five agencies: HHSC, Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS), Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), and the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).
As a member of the Sunset Advisory Commission, Chairman Raymond helps review policies and programs of state agencies to ensure that the state spends taxpayer money on governmental services wisely and that the state delivers those services successfully and cost affectively. The Sunset Advisory Commission is a 12-member body with five members of the House of Representatives and one public member appointed by the Speaker of the House, and five Senators and one public member appointed by the Lieutenant Governor.