Update from the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition

March 28, 2013Uncategorized

Last week, the Texas Senate passed Senate Bill (SB) 1, its proposed version of the next state budget. SB 1 was received by the Texas House and was then substituted in the House Appropriations Committee with the House’s proposed version of the budget. The House version of SB 1 was approved by the Appropriations Committee and is now set for consideration by the full House of Representatives on April 4th.

Both the Senate and House versions of the budget:

  • Include $100 million for the biennium to the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Community Primary Health Care program, estimated to provide family planning services to 100,000 through primary care. (Strategy B.1.4)
  • Include $71.3 million for the biennium to fund the Texas Women’s Health Program and replace the lost federal funds after Texas passed the “Affiliate Ban Rule.” (Strategy D.2.3)
  • Leave the drastic cuts to the DSHS Family Planning Program unchanged. (Strategy B.1.3)

The House version of the budget does include an additional $32 million for family planning — but only if Texas loses Title X funding from the federal government. This would prevent the closure of additional “safety net” clinics that contract with DSHS.

The House will now have to approve the budget before it will be considered by a joint House-Senate Conference Committee. The Coalition recognizes the important strides the Texas Legislature has made in restoring the funding cut from family planning last session. However, we must continue to stress the importance of preventive care to protect the funding as the budget process moves forward. The new Coalition 1-pager summarizes the progress and the remaining needs.

Please call your representative this week and ask them to continue prioritizing women’s healthcare.

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