AUSTIN, TEXAS – The 87th Legislative Session has come to a close, and Representative Raney has successfully navigated important legislation through the House and the Senate, to Governor Greg Abbott. His legislative accomplishments include the following:
- Creating drug overdose Good Samaritan protections in Texas – House Bill 1694 creates a defense to prosecution for anyone who calls 911 to aid an individual who appears to have experienced a drug overdose, as well as the person for whom aid is sought. Texas will now join 40 other states that have adopted similar laws, which have been proven to decrease drug overdose-related deaths by up to 15%. This important piece of legislation will save lives.
- Aligning childcare reimbursement rates to support quality child care – Senate Bill 1555, the companion for House Bill 1695, requires the Texas Workforce Commission to establish graduated reimbursement rates for qualified child care providers and will support care for children of all ages.
- Enabling Brazos County voters to create localized solutions to address transportation and congestion – House Bill 1698 creates the opportunity for Brazos County to utilize a Regional Mobility Authority for necessary infrastructure and congestion improvement projects upon voter approval. As areas like Bryan-College Station continue to grow, this bill will enable local leaders to implement proper planning and development to support public safety and transportation mobility.
- Removing barriers to the establishment of workforce development programs – House Bill 4361 supports employer-driven partnerships with institutions of higher education, removing red tape in the upskilling and reskilling of Texas workers.
- Enhancing suppliers’ ability to meet propane demand – Senate Bill 1668, the companion for House Bill 3885, creates an exemption to duplicative requirements for dispensing liquefied petroleum in the state, aligning Texas safety standards with those of the Propane Education and Research Council.
Serving on the House Committees on Appropriations and Higher Education, Representative Raney joint- authored or co-authored over 60 pieces of legislation, including measures to improve Medicaid program efficacy, expand healthcare coverage for teleservices, support higher education initiatives across the state, and protect Second Amendment rights. With the passage of Senate Bill 8 and House Bill 5, the Legislature augmented safeguards for unborn Texans and enhanced statewide access to broadband coverage. This session the Legislature also passed bills, such as Senate Bill 6 and House Bill 1195, to support post-pandemic business recovery in the state.
Representative Raney is proud to be a part of the budget process through his role on the Appropriations Committee. As a member of the Subcommittee on Article II covering Health and Human Services, Representative Raney helped lead the way in reinforcing the state’s commitment to improving women’s health programs and mental health services by allocating over one-third of the state’s $248 billion budget to those efforts. Thanks to smart fiscal management, the state is looking at an end-balance of about $11.6 billion in the “Rainy Day Fund.” Senate Bill 1 also designates $46.5 billion to public education, including funding for targeted programs to help students and schools affected by the pandemic.
Significant progress was made during the 87th Session towards strengthening electricity infrastructure and reforming Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) leadership in response to Winter Storm Uri. In addition, the 2022-2023 State Budget includes $4.2 million to enhance the Public Utility Commission and other regulatory responses related to oversight of ERCOT activities.
“With concerns over pandemic risks and fallout, and a devastating ice storm, this has been a session like no other,” said Representative Raney. “We’ve made meaningful progress on many issues confronting citizens and business owners in Texas, including government accountability, reinvigoration of the state’s economy, and improving the quality of life for Texans. I’m proud to say the Legislature accomplished all these things, while passing a fiscally responsible, balanced budget, but there is always more work to be done. I am blessed beyond measure to serve House District 14, and I look forward to continuing to work on many key issues, including redistricting and the allocation of $16 billion in federal coronavirus relief funding during the upcoming interim months, in preparation to return to Austin for the 88th Legislative Session.”