April 10, 2024, Introduced by Senators CHANG, GEISS, SANTANA, ANTHONY, CAVANAGH, WOJNO, SHINK, MOSS, BAYER and CAMILLERI and referred to the Committee on Housing and Human Services.

A bill to establish a doula scholarship program for eligible individuals; to provide for the administration of the doula scholarship program; to create the doula scholarship fund; and to prescribe certain powers and duties of certain state officers and entities.

the people of the state of michigan enact:

Sec. 1. As used in this act:

(a) "Department" means the department of health and human services.

(b) "Doula" means an individual who provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to a mother before, during, and shortly after childbirth to help the mother achieve a healthy and satisfying childbirth experience.

(c) "Doula training" means the training an individual completes to become a doula and that is approved by the Michigan doula advisory council in the department.

(d) "Eligible costs" means the costs of doula training, including, but not limited to, cost of books, workshop fees, examination fees, and membership fees.

(e) "Financial hardship" means insufficient financial resources to complete doula training without financial assistance.

Sec. 3. The doula scholarship program is created, to be administered by the department. The department shall do all of the following in implementing the scholarship program:

(a) Award scholarships to eligible individuals under this act.

(b) Promulgate rules necessary to implement this act pursuant to the administrative procedures act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24.201 to 24.328.

(c) Publicize the availability of the doula scholarship program, in partnership with universities, nonprofit organizations, and other persons.

Sec. 5. (1) The department may award a scholarship for eligible costs under this act to an individual determined by the department to meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

(a) Has not been awarded a scholarship under this act at the time the individual submits an application.

(b) Demonstrates a financial hardship through household income or through receipt of financial assistance under the supplemental nutrition assistance program; the special supplemental food program for women, infants, and children; the Social Security Administration SSI program; or another program.

(c) Completes a signed application stating an intent to become a doula in this state and provides proof of residency in this state.

(d) Meets any other standards established in the rules promulgated by the department under section 3.

(2) An individual may apply for a scholarship under this act by completing an application on a form provided by the department.

Sec. 7. (1) An individual must not receive more than $3,000.00 for an award under this act and must not receive more than 1 award under this act.

(2) Not more than 6 months after receiving a scholarship under this act, the individual shall be working toward completion of doula training or have completed doula training, and shall provide the department with documentation demonstrating that the individual is serving as a doula or is working toward completion of doula training. The department shall accept any of the following as documentation required under this subsection:

(a) A letter from a health care professional who verifies the individual is serving as a doula and the health care professional works with the individual.

(b) A letter from a client who received services from the individual acting as the client's doula.

(c) Any other documentation the department determines is sufficient to demonstrate the requirements of this subsection.

(3) If an individual does not comply with subsection (2), the department shall seek repayment of the award.

Sec. 9. (1) The doula scholarship fund is created within the state treasury.

(2) The state treasurer may receive money or other assets from any source for deposit into the fund. The state treasurer shall direct investment of the fund. The state treasurer shall credit to the fund interest and earnings from fund investments.

(3) Money in the fund at the close of the fiscal year will remain in the fund and will not lapse to the general fund.

(4) The department is the administrator of the fund for auditing purposes.

(5) The department shall expend money from the fund, upon appropriation, only for the purpose of providing scholarships under this act.