FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jesse Cordray, Press Secretary
Emma Balzer, Press Secretary Intern
STATEHOUSE (April 1, 2021) – Two bills authored by State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) that would address maternal mortality and the enforcement of pesticide violations passed out of the Senate with bipartisan support today.
Senate Enrolled Act 10 would amend the definition of maternal mortality to include deaths of pregnant women from any cause. SEA 10 would also specify that for purposes of the review of records by the statewide maternal mortality review committee, health care providers include mental health professionals. Under current law, "maternal mortality" refers to the death of a pregnant woman, irrespective of the pregnancy's duration, from any cause, including abortion, miscarriages, and reasons related to or aggravated by the pregnancy itself or management of the pregnancy.
Senate Enrolled Act 227 would replace the schedule of civil penalties with a comprehensive list of violations for which the state chemist may impose a civil penalty of $250, $500 or $1,000, depending on severity of the violation. SEA 227 would also grant the state chemist the ability to adjust a civil penalty by 20% for certain violations if the person responsible for the violation takes mitigating action. Low-level violations could only incur a fee if a warning has been issued to the violator within five years of the latest incident.
"As a retired nurse and farmer, I am always concerned about addressing the critical issues facing our state's health care and agricultural industries," Leising said. "SEA 10 is yet another positive step toward improving maternal outcomes. With the additional data, SEA 10 will enable lawmakers to make informed decisions when providing care that will protect both mom and baby. SEA 227 provides the necessary regulatory authority to the state chemist to safeguard and strengthen our state's agricultural interests."
SEA 10 and 227 will now move to Gov. Holcomb for further consideration.