Week thirteen of the legislative session saw continued progress to the end of our work this year. As we moved towards the scheduled adjournment of April 19, the Senate addressed a number of policies ranging from addressing nuisance bars, permitting electronic insurance notices, and language and literacy development for deaf children.
The final weeks of session are also the time for state budgets for the next fiscal year to be developed, negotiated, and adopted. I have been and remain committed to passing conservative, sustainable budgets, carefully providing funding to areas like mental health, public safety, and education, while ensuring the largest income tax cuts in Iowa history remain sustainable.
The Senate advanced a bill this week to create more options for maternal support programs in Iowa and utilize a nonprofit organization to promote healthy pregnancies and childbirth. Passing pro-life legislation and protecting life have been important principles for us at the Capitol, and this legislation provides pregnant women with supportive options to give them the health care and services they need to help ensure a healthy pregnancy and a healthy birth.
Under this bill, Senate File 2381, the Department of Human Services would create the More Options for Maternal Support program, or the MOMS program. It is a statewide program to promote healthy pregnancies and childbirth and personalized support to pregnant women. It also provides stability, promotes improved pregnancy outcomes, improves child health and development, and family economic self-sufficiency.
The program would provide a number of support services for pregnant women, including nutritional services, housing assistance, adoption education and services, child care assistance, parenting education and support, health tests and screenings, and counseling. It would also include items that help women after childbirth, like cribs, car seats, diapers, and formula.
Additionally, the bill also extends postpartum coverage for women under Medicaid from 60 days to 12 months. This extension gives more support to women after the birth of their child and they are adjusting to life as a parent.
Senate File 2381 invests in women and their babies and helps set them up for success during those very important first years of life. It ensures women know their options and have all the information and the support they need. I was proud to support this bill and happy to see it pass the Senate with a bipartisan vote of 32-16.