P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2017
AUSTIN — Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, today praised the decision to place maternal mortality on the call for the upcoming special session.
"It is vitally important that we determine the root causes for the unacceptable rise in maternal morbidity and address those issues," Senator Nelson said. "While SB 1 provided clear direction to gather the necessary data, I am pleased that we will have another opportunity to focus on women's health in the upcoming special session."
The state budget allocates $284.6 million for women's health programs -- a record high level of funding. SB 1, Article II, Rider 164, broadly directs the Health and Human Services Commission to develop strategies to confront the top causes of pregnancy-related deaths in Texas. Another rider establishes the Office of Minority Health Statistics and Engagement and devotes about $2 million to support the delivery of culturally appropriate services to children and families. The rider specifically directs this new office to coordinate with the Task Force on Maternal Mortality and Morbidity -- which was not continued during the regular session -- to study trends, rates, or disparities in pregnancy-related deaths.
The governor recently announced that continuation of this task force will be on the call for the upcoming special session beginning on July 18th.