Mayes bill to provide maternal and newborn supply kits advances in PA House

Legislation would establish state resource program for new parents

HARRISBURG, April 29 – With about 17% of Pennsylvania children living in poverty, the state House Human Services Committee today voted to advance legislation that would create a state program providing “Welcome Baby” kits to new parents, the bill’s author, Rep. La’Tasha D. Mayes, announced.

House Bill 2137 would establish a new state program to help ease the financial and emotional stress new moms and parents face by providing them with maternal and newborn supply kits and connecting them to additional support programs available at the state and county levels.

“Impoverished parents are struggling in both urban and rural communities across the Commonwealth,” said Mayes, D-Allegheny. “Creating a program like this is a necessary step in filling gaps left by maternal health care deserts and ensuring that new moms and parents -- regardless of income and Zip code -- can access resources to help them raise healthy children.”

Mayes said the legislation, modeled on the federal Newborn Supply Kit pilot programs currently operating in Arkansas, Louisiana and New Mexico is an opportunity for Pennsylvania to lead the nation in the realm of maternal health.

The bill is one of eight in the Pennsylvania MOMNIBUS legislative package and is now positioned for a full vote in the PA House.