House District 107 Residents Score Another Legislative Success

June 3, 2015

By Rep. Kenneth Sheets

AUSTIN, TX – Last week, the Texas Legislature sent House Bill 1670 by State Representative Kenneth Sheets to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk to be signed into law. H.B. 1670 provides Texans the right to retain ownership of their placentas and facilitates release by licensed hospitals and birthing centers.

Representative Sheets filed H.B. 1670 after meeting with Melissa Mathis, a constituent in District 107 who raised concerns about the current processes for releasing a placenta. “Upon the birth of my child I was informed that due to hospital policy I could not retain ownership my placenta,” Mathis said. “Many Texas mothers were also suffering due to a lack of legislative structure and the resulting unpredictability and inconsistency in hospital policy. This was unacceptable to me. Thanks to Representative Sheets, countless Texas mothers will now be able to have an improved birth and postpartum experience as they will no longer have to navigate the previously unclear interpretations of law.”

“This is a personal liberty issue.” said Representative Sheets. “It was definitely a new issue for me, but after meeting with Melissa and researching the issue, it was clear that current law was ambiguous and a fix was needed. As I have stated many times, it is an honor to carry bills that are important to folks back home.”

The bill passed both chambers unanimously and has been sent to Governor Abbott for his final approval. House Bill 1670 was not the only bill that was brought to Representative Sheets’ attention by residents of House District 107. In addition to H.B. 1670, Representative Sheets also carried H.B. 821 and H.B. 911. House Bill 821, which was signed into law by Governor Abbott on May 28, 2015, was brought to Representative Sheets by a ten year old Dallas boy and relates to hunting licenses for minors. House Bill 911 was brought to Representative Sheets by a Mesquite resident and related to the appointment of commissioners of the Public Utilities Commission.

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