October 14, 2020
Please attribute this statement to Texas Public Health Coalition Chair Jason V. Terk, MD, in response to Texas Department of State Health Services’ 2022-23 Legislative Appropriation Request.
“COVID-19 has laid bare the consequences of chronically underfunding public health in Texas. Now, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has been asked to further reduce its budget by 5%.
“Cutting nearly $33 million from the state’s top public health agency simply should not be on the table during a pandemic. Our state needs dependable investment in preventing and eliminating disease threats at all times. Furthermore, funding pandemic response efforts should not come at the expense of cuts to DSHS’ other important areas of work, such as tobacco control, chronic disease prevention, immunizations, and maternal and child health.
“The Texas Legislature must maintain consistent funding for DSHS’ existing functions and commit to filling any funding gaps for pandemic response as long as needed. The lifesaving work DSHS performs has never been more clearly on display, and our coalition will fight to see DSHS has every tool it needs to execute its mission.”
TPHC is a coalition of more than 30 health professional organizations and health-focused organizations dedicated to disease prevention and health promotion. The coalition works to reduce preventable disease by advancing effective public policies that promote a safe and healthy environment and healthy behaviors for all Texas residents.
Contact: Brent Annear (512) 370-1381; cell: (512) 656-7320
Marcus Cooper (512) 370-1382; cell: (512) 650-5336