Women’s Health


Awards Received:

Champion of Women’s Health by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast

Legislative Champion by the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition


  • Senate Bill 1599, seeks to improve data related to maternal mortality and, in doing so, reduce Texas's current high rates of pregnancy-related deaths.  Specifically, the bill will require the Department of State Health Services to post information on its website regarding the systematic protocol for pregnancy-related death investigations and the best practices for reporting those deaths. SB 1599 was signed by the governor and is effective September 1, 2017.

  • Senate Bill 17 (Added Amendment), to extend the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force until 2023. This bill also charges the task force to continue studying best practices to curb their maternal death rates, look at the health disparities and socioeconomic status of the mothers dying in Texas and find solutions to help women with postpartum depression. Senator Miles added an amendment targeting the second leading cause of maternal deaths, substance abuse, notably regarding opioids. His amendment gives physicians the substance abuse screening tools and resources to better identify and help at-risk pregnant women. SB 17 was signed by the governor and is effective immediately.


  • SB 559 by Miles, Maternal Mortality Death Records (amended onto SB 750)

  • SB 559 directs hospitals, birthing centers, or other parties to submit all records in relation to a maternal death to DSHS within 30 business days of a request to improve response time. It is a recommendation of the 2018 Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force Report.

  • In 2017, Sen. Miles passed SB 1599 which directed the Department of State Health Services to develop the best practices for reporting pregnancy-related deaths and when they should be investigated by the medical examiner.

  •  DSHS and the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity task force are required to go through case records in order to determine their findings. These case records are crucial for the task force to review.   However, during their research process DSHS received delayed responses to their record requests. For the year 2012, the waiting period for records from the date requested ranged from 3 days to up to 537 days.  This bill will improve the research process for studying maternal mortality in Texas

Health Care



  • SB 2022, Harris County Local Provider Participation Fund

    • Relating to the creation and operations of a health care provider participation program by the Harris County Hospital District.

    • Allows local hospitals in Harris County to impose a fee on patient to draw-down Medicaid dollars

    • Harris County Hospital District will have the option to create the fund, which could draw-down up to $1B dollars in federal dollars for uncompensated care.

  • SB 1283 by Miles, HIV Drugs under Medicaid

    • Relating to the availability under Medicaid of certain drugs used to treat human immunodeficiency virus or prevent acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

    • Requires Medicaid recipients get HIV drugs by granting protected class status to antiretrovirals. 

    • Eliminates the need for prior authorization or step therapy, a process that requires a patient to experiment with lower cost drugs and fail before accessing higher cost medications. 

    • This bill makes clear in statute that Medicaid beneficiaries have access to lifesaving HIV medications immediately following an HIV diagnosis, and protects patients from delays in treatment caused by prior authorization or step therapy, thus making HIV medications a “protected class” in state law.

  • HB 3405 by Johnson, Miles Sponsor, Sickle Cell Task Force

    • Relating to the establishment of a sickle cell task force.

    • Creates a task force within HHSC to study and advise the Department of State Health Services to develop statewide awareness campaigns, statewide patient lifespan surveillance programs, partner with organizations to improve access to services, and utilize community health workers to improve care.

  • HCR 117 by Johnson, Miles Sponsor Sickle Cell Awareness Month

    • Designating September as Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month for a 10-year period beginning in 2019.

    • Creates a month-long campaign of awareness over sickle cell disease.

  • SB 1196, Harris Health 401K

    • Relating to automatic employee participation in and administration of a deferred compensation plan provided by certain hospital districts.

    • Allows local hospital districts to create "opt-out" retirement plans, as opposed to "opt-in," these auto-enroll retirement plans are shown to produce greater levels of savings and preferred by employers nationwide over plans that require employees to actively opt-in

    • Bill requires hospital district retirement plans created by the bill to have a 3% minimum employee contribution.

  • SB 2270 by Miles, Health Benefits for Employees in Medical Schools

    • Relating to employment policies for certain health care providers employed by medical and dental units.

    • Allows the head of a medical or dental unit at an institution of higher education to give benefits to employees who work between 36 and 40 hours a week.

  • SB 1204 by Miles, Gestational Agreements

    • Updates the Family Code to take agreements for surrogate mothers into account in divorce proceedings

    • Grants mothers in divorce proceedings equal rights as fathers


Miles Ahead.jpg

Awards Received:

Most Valuable Legislator by the Texas Association of Community Schools

Star of the Legislative Session by the Texas Classroom Teachers Association

Outstanding Service Award by the Texas Association of Black School Educators

The Miles Ahead Scholars is a Houston Independent School District program funded by dedicated grants from the Texas Education Agency thanks to two budget riders passed by Senator Miles during his two senate sessions. Funded by TEA's Communities in Schools program, the Miles Ahead Scholars provides about 20 students from each of Wheatley, Worthing, and Kashmere High Schools with dedicated staff for tutoring, mentorship, and college readiness training. The goal of the program is to ensure that promising young men reach their fullest potential and enroll in our nation's top colleges and universities.


  • Student Success Initiative Budget Rider, secured the initial $11 Million for the Student Success Initiative, to provide education assistance to schools located in a disadvantaged community and have a high percentage of struggling students. This has developed into the Miles Ahead Scholars program at HISD which is being piloted at  Wheatley, Worthing, and Kashmere. 

  • Senate Bill 725, permitted public and charter schools to donate surplus food to nonprofit organizations and redistribute those foods to schools so hungry kids can access them at any time. To address the issue of "lunch shaming," when students do not have enough money to purchase a hot meal at the cafeteria, SB 725 allows school districts or open-enrollment charter schools to adopt a policy that provides a meal at no cost to students. 

  • Senate Bill 1220, established certain procedures for student records, course credit, special education referrals, and coordination protocols between schools and the Department of Family and Protective Services for children who are homeless or in substitute care transition from one school to another.

  • Senate Bill 2105, required the Texas Workforce Commission to provide secondary school students information regarding career and technical education partnership opportunities with business and industry. The bill also required that the Workforce Commission provide teacher information on professional development opportunities and learning opportunities for students through industry mentorships, internships, summer programs, after-school programs, and career-based student leadership opportunities.


  • Miles Ahead Scholars Budget Rider, secured $11 million in the budget, House Bill 1, for the Houston Independent School District to implement a posse program to help minority students succeed. 

  • Senate Bill 1746 addressed the risk faced by children of incarcerated parents. SB 1746 classified kids whose parents are incarcerated as "at risk" of dropping out of school and was supported by HISD. SB 1746 helps schools provide intervention services via organizations like Houston's PACE Youth Academy, as well as compensatory services by the local school.

  • House Bill 1277 (Senate Sponsor) authorized The University of Houston Downtown to collect a student-approved fee for the construction of a student activity center. A student activity center will help keep students on campus between classes and provide study space for UHD's student body, as well as a further sense of community and enhancement to campus life.

  • House Bill 1516 (Senate Sponsor) permanently codified and permanently authorized Texas Southern University's Athletics fee which previously needed to be reauthorized by the Legislature every 5 years. Now Texas Southern can comfortably plan their athletics expenditures without worrying about the expiration of their athletics fee.

Criminal Justice


  • House Bill 553 (Senate Sponsor), created a task force to assess the daily activities of inmates in order to determine what type of certificates, industry-recognized credentials, high school, college or joint high school and college credit that can be awarded to inmates. The task force is determining the actions necessary to obtain applicable academic credit or industry recognition in the hopes of reducing recidivism and saving money by keeping ex-convicts out of prison.


  • House Bill 2524 (Senate Sponsor), ended the practice of criminally prosecuting individuals who are merely unable to keep up with payments on rent-to-own contracts. Ensured that rent-to-own customers are prosecuted only when they actually had the intent to steal or commit fraud. 

  • House Bill 374, companion to Senate Bill 1248 by Miles, reformed probationer scheduling. Although this should not be an issue, currently, some probation officers do not consider a person's work or childcare schedule when setting probation appointments. HB 374 not only requires consideration of a probationer's work schedule when scheduling these meetings, but now allows the meetings be conducted through video teleconferencing as well.

  • House Bill 2079, companion to Senate Bill 2271 by Miles, and in honor of Sir Romeo, ensures children who are victims of attempted murder that occurred within their own homes will be eligible to receive relocation cost reimbursement under the Crime Victims' Compensation Program. The program provides up to $2,000 in moving expenses and up to three months rental of assistance of $600 each month.

Veterans and Military


Senator Miles has always voted for the Hazelwood Act and its reauthorization, ensuring Texas Veterans and their families are afforded access to higher education at public institutions of higher education.


  • Amended Senate Bill 1739, which allowed active duty military members to suspend certain service contracts like phone, cable, and internet, without penalty when military orders require the service member to move, onto House Bill 3066.


  • Filed Senate Bill 1201, forgiving Driver Responsibility Program (DRP) fees and fines upon commitment to enlist in the armed services, however with the entire DRP was repealed by House Bill 2048, along with any amounts owed to the DRP by any Texan.



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