Senator Jane Nelson
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
Fax (512) 463-0923

NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 3, 2008
Contact: Dave Nelson (817) 424-3446

SENATOR NELSON REACTS TO STATE AUDIT OF HHS AGENCIES

AUSTIN -- Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, reacted strongly today to Report Number 08-047 from the Office of State Auditor, detailing systemic breakdowns within the agencies managed by the Texas Health & Human Services Commission.

"These results are unacceptable and require an immediate response," said Senator Nelson, who will ask agency officials to discuss the audit's findings before the Senate Health & Human Services Committee. The audit found that:

"All agency employees should be properly screened and should comply with training requirements because many of them are caring for children, the elderly and our most vulnerable citizens," she said. "It is unimaginable that a terminated employee would continue to receive a paycheck or that someone could be placed on 'emergency' leave for a year while investigations of criminal background checks are taking place."

Senator Nelson announced last month that she is drafting legislation to overhaul the screening process for state health and human services direct care staff. Today she said she will expand that effort to address deficiencies found in this audit.

SENATOR JANE NELSON represents District 12, which includes parts of Tarrant and Denton counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee.

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