from the office of State Senator Judith Zaffirini

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Leigh Flores
512/463-0121
March 28, 2001

ZAFFIRINI BILL PROMOTES INFANT MORTALITY PREVENTION

Coordination of statewide programs to allow for increased access to resources

The Texas Senate today (Wednesday) passed Senate Bill 55 by Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, which requires the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services and the Children's Trust Fund to develop and implement a statewide infant mortality prevention education program.

SB 55 further requires the Department of Protective and Regulatory Services and the Children's Trust Fund to develop a memorandum of understanding regarding their specific responsibilities in developing and executing the program. SB 55 also allows the use of Children's Trust Fund monies to fund the infant mortality prevention education program.

"In developing the memorandum of understanding, the two organizations will be able to target areas where further assistance is needed and to identify and bring outside resources into the program," Sen. Zaffirini said. "Currently the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services and the Children's Trust Fund coordinate programs to prevent Shaken Baby Syndrome, but not Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or other infant mortality issues."

Zaffirini added that she filed SB 55 to help reduce infant death rates through improved public education and to expand the Children's Trust Fund's current collaboration with the Prevention and Early Intervention Division and Shaken Baby Alliance.

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