House Committees have been assigned – you can view them here. The House Committee on Appropriations has begun conducting hearings, and its Subcommittee on Article II will have a public hearing on Thursday, February 23rd to discuss Health and Human Services programs, including women’s healthcare programs. You can review the House budget proposals, along with other related documents here. TWHC Chair, Dr. Janet Realini will provide testimony during this hearing.
The House base budget funds the Women’s Health Program strategy (which includes Healthy Texas Women, the Family Planning Program, and Breast and Cervical Cancer Services) at $284.6 million over the 2018/2019 biennium. This amount would maintain the funding level appropriated for the 2016/2017 biennium. The inclusion of level funding in the base budget is a significant victory in this tight budget climate, when a number of health programs are in danger of being cut. However, the amount put forth is still below HHSC’s request, which includes a request for an additional $20 million over the biennium for the Family Planning Program.
If you plan on testifying on Thursday, please consider thanking the House Appropriations Subcommittee for recognizing the importance of women’s preventive healthcare by including level funding for the state’s women’s health programs, and encourage them to further strengthen women’s healthcare access by funding HHSC’s Exceptional Item request for $20 million for the Family Planning Program. This is only an early step in the budget process – more work remains to ensure that our state continues to invest in critical preventive health services for women.
The details for this week’s hearing are included below:
Date: Thursday, February 23, 2017
Time: 7:30 AM
Location: John H. Reagan Building
105 W 15th St, Austin, TX 78701