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Legislative Initiatives

The Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living has several legislative initiatives that aim to advance child health by strengthening the relationship between research and policy, and providing data and information as a resource that can support key decisions and best practices. The Center aims to connect policymakers and legislators to researchers, including public health and community organizations, in Texas, and communicate data driven, evidence-based and common sense products and outcomes that include recommendations to impact state-level child health issues.

Texas Legislature Bill Tracker

Since the 2013 session, the Center has hosted a legislative bill tracker that identifies relevant legislative actions to research taking place at the Center and the expertise of our faculty.

  • The 2019 legislative tracker is segmented into general categories: early childhood education, food policy, school/after-school care, tobacco/e-cigarettes, and more.
  • The tracker is updated regularly with new bills as they are filed and the status of each bill as the session progresses.
  • Each category of the legislative tracker is accompanied by relevant resources.

Texas Research-to-Policy Collaboration (Texas RPC)

The Texas RPC project is working with the Pennsylvania State University to bridge research and policy by supporting partnerships between child health research experts and policymakers in Texas.

The Texas RPC will:

  • Form a non-partisan network of researchers who can provide evidence-based support to policymakers’ efforts for child health research.
  • Respond to policymakers’ interest and needs for research in child health.
  • Train the network to identify state policy priorities.
  • Identify and prepare for engaging as unbiased resources for research information in 2020 in preparation for the 2021 legislative session.

Texas Child Health Status Report and Toolkit

The Center is developing a series of user-friendly materials that can be used to raise awareness of child health risk factors in order to develop new programs and actions, and to build on current initiatives in Texas. The Healthy Children, Healthy State report series and the accompanying toolkit include:

  • Status highlights of child health in Texas, with a focus on health disparities (i.e. obesity, nutrition, screen-time, etc.); and
  • Toolkits to accompany the reports that are intended for parents, schools, and public health audiences to use to advocate for child health in relation to local, school, and statewide policy.

Community Partnerships

The Center is involved in various steering committees that are involved in legislative work such as the Partnership for a Healthy Texas, Live Smart Texas, the Texas Public Health Coalition, and the Mayor's Health & Fitness Council.