Ahead of the Session

By TWHC

Every legislative year promises to bring unique challenges, a flurry of bills, and the push and pull known to Texas politics. Monitoring and communicating pertinent information coming out of the Texas Legislature is a major part of ensuring the goals of the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition are met. As we step into 2019 and the upcoming Session, we want to make sure everyone knows what to expect from TWHC during what promises to be another busy legislative year.

Meetings

Meeting once a month with the Steering Committee, and quarterly with Coalition members, is appropriate during a non-legislative year. However, the break-neck pace of the Texas Legislature means things can change quickly.

The Steering Committee will hold conference calls every Friday at 8 a.m. to discuss new developments and strategize how to move forward, while Coalition member meetings will take place once a month. Keep an eye on your email for reminders of meeting dates, times, and locations.

TWHC will also work to provide policymakers accurate information related to women’s health in Texas. When appropriate, TWHC members are invited to attend meetings with legislative members and their staff to communicate the impacts as it relates to the work they do in women’s health.

Bills to watch

Over 800 bills have been pre-filed between the House and Senate ahead of the regular Session, but here are a few TWHC will be watching closely.

  • HB 30 would allow the transfer of unused long-acting reversible contraceptive products under Medicaid and the Healthy Texas Women program. Rep. Gina Hinojosa (D-Austin)
  • SB 189 would auto-enroll young women into the Healthy Texas Women program as they age out of children’s health insurance programs. Sen. Borris Miles (D-Houston)
  • SB 147 would expand Pregnant Women’s Medicaid eligibility to one year postpartum. José R. Rodríguez (D-El Paso)

Public hearings and providing testimony

During Session committee hearings, TWHC will have the opportunity to provide public testimony in favor of, or in opposition to, bills being discussed. TWHC will provide oral or written public testimony on legislation related to our policy priorities. We will reach out to members for their expertise in helping review written testimony to be submitted to appropriate committees. Other times, TWHC may submit a card in support of, or in opposition to, a certain bill without providing oral or written testimony.

If you have any questions or concerns related to meetings, bills, public hearings, or women’s health please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to continuing pushing women’s healthcare forward in Texas.