NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee lawmakers proposed creating a grant program that would help new mothers in the state get health care, child care support and develop workforce transition skills.
The bill for the grant program, H.B. 1971, was introduced by Representative London Lamar (D - Memphis). It would require the Tennessee Department of Health to create the grant program using existing staff to help implement it.
The proposed program would distribute funds to community-based nonprofits operating in 25 counties with the highest rates of infant and maternal mortality, as determined by TDH.
Nonprofits receiving money from the grant program will need to provide preventative care for pregnant or postpartum women, improve maternal health, provide new child support or child care services. They can also provide birth control options, give financial assistance for new mothers or help postpartum mothers transition back into the workforce.
It is estimated to cost the state around $29 million per year, according to officials. They also estimated it would cover around 100 children per county, around 3% of the state's yearly births.