House Representative

Howard, Donna

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 10/28/2016

Rep. Donna Howard Continues Push for Immediate Boost in CPS Funding

Questions Legislative Budget Board Director on Budget Execution and Other Available Methods

AUSTIN - In the wake of Wednesday’s Senate Finance Committee Hearing and the release late yesterday of an updated plan of action from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS),

Rep. Donna Howard issued a letter to the Director of the Legislative Budget Board asking for information on ways to expeditiously transfer funds to the agency. She released the following statement:
“I am appreciative that the Senate Finance Committee recently took time to discuss my proposal for the Legislative Budget Board, at its next meeting, to transfer additional funding to Child Protective Services (CPS) for increases in caseworker salaries.

"I am also grateful that DFPS Commissioner Whitman's updated plan proposes a $1,000 a month boost in salaries for caseworkers, supervisors, and program directors. We know from past experience in the Midland/Odessa area that these raises have the potential to significantly reduce turnover rates for those positions.
“I have reached out to the Director of the Legislative Budget Board, and asked for more information on Budget Execution and any other options available for the immediate transfer of funds to CPS for this purpose.

“The method of transfer is obviously less important to me than the result—without immediately addressing the turnover and retention issue at the agency, thousands of Texas children will continue to be at heightened risk of abuse and neglect every day.

“Under questioning from Senators, Commissioner Whitman remarked that the need to increase salaries at the agency should be considered an 'emergency.' I agree with him, and am working to find an expeditious way of getting him the money he needs."