WHEREAS, women in the United States are more likely to die of childbirth or pregnancy-related causes than are women in other high-income countries; and
WHEREAS, according to numerous organizations that rank mortality rates, Georgia is among the top ten states with the highest maternal death rate; and
WHEREAS, maternal deaths are a serious public health concern and have a tremendous family and societal impact, affecting diverse populations; and
WHEREAS, the Georgia Maternal Mortality Review Committee has reviewed three years of maternal death data; and
WHEREAS, continued review of maternal deaths is recommended to understand trends in maternal deaths. Research performed by the Georgia Maternal Mortality Review Committee suggests 60 percent of these deaths are preventable; and
WHEREAS, there is a need to develop strategies and institute systemic changes to decrease and prevent maternal deaths in Georgia.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
(1) Creation of House study committee. There is created the House Study Committee on Maternal Mortality.
(2) Members and officers. The committee shall be composed of seven members of the House of Representatives, a minimum of two of whom shall be African American female legislators, and two members of the Georgia Maternal Mortality Review Committee to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The Speaker shall designate a member of the committee as chairperson of the committee.
(3) Powers and duties. The committee shall undertake a study of the conditions, needs, issues, and problems mentioned above or related thereto and recommend any action or legislation which the committee deems necessary or appropriate.
(4) Meetings. The chairperson shall call all meetings of the committee. The committee may conduct such meetings at such places and at such times as it may deem necessary or convenient to enable it to exercise fully and effectively its powers, perform its duties, and accomplish the objectives and purposes of this resolution.
(5) Allowances, expenses, and funding.
(A) The legislative members of the committee shall receive the allowances provided for in Code Section 28-1-8 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.
(B) Members of the committee who are state officials, other than legislative members, or who are state employees shall receive no compensation for their services on the committee, but they may be reimbursed for expenses incurred by them in the performance of their duties as members of the committee in the same manner as they are reimbursed for expenses in their capacities as state officials or employees.
(C) Members of the committee who are not legislators, state officials, or state employees shall receive a daily expense allowance in an amount the same as that specified in subsection (b) of Code Section 45-7-21 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, as well as the mileage or transportation allowance authorized for state employees.
(D) The allowances authorized by this resolution shall not be received by any member of the committee for more than five days unless additional days are authorized. Funds necessary to carry out the provisions of this resolution shall come from funds appropriated to the House of Representatives; except that funds for the reimbursement of the expenses of state officials, other than legislative members, and for the reimbursement of the expenses of state employees shall come from funds appropriated to or otherwise available to their respective agencies.
(A) In the event the committee adopts any specific findings or recommendations that include suggestions for proposed legislation, the chairperson shall file a report of the same prior to the date of abolishment specified in this resolution, subject to subparagraph (C) of this paragraph.
(B) In the event the committee adopts a report that does not include suggestions for proposed legislation, the chairperson shall file the report, subject to subparagraph (C) of this paragraph.
(C) No report shall be filed unless the same has been approved prior to the date of abolishment specified in this resolution by majority vote of a quorum of the committee. A report so approved shall be signed by the chairperson of the committee and filed with the Clerk of the House of Representatives.
(D) In the absence of an approved report, the chairperson may file with the Clerk of the House of Representatives a copy of the minutes of the meetings of the committee in lieu thereof.
(7) Abolishment. The committee shall stand abolished on December 1, 2019.