May 27, 2010

Mason leads legislative committee on infant mortality

Rep. Cory Mason, D-Racine, was appointed to lead the Legislative Council Special Committee on infant mortality, along with Sen. Judy Robson, D-Beloit.

“Wisconsin’s high infant mortality rate is one of the biggest shortfalls in our state,” said Mason. “Every community should be able to provide the resources to ensure that babies live to see their first birthday. The goal of our committee will be to find those resources and make them work effectively in Wisconsin.”

The infant mortality rate is the number of babies per thousand who do not live to see their first birthday. “Our African American infant mortality rates are the highest in the U.S., approaching 28 deaths per thousand. That is a rate that falls between Nicaragua and Kazakhstan; we have to do better,” Mason said.

Study committees are established by the Joint Legislative Council to examine major issues and problems. In the previous two state budgets, specific grants have been given to Racine to begin to address infant mortality.