AUSTIN (KXAN) – Those looking for a midwife license in Texas or renewing an existing one in Texas could soon pay less.

A recommendation is to reduce the initial license fee from $275 to $195. The renewal fee would also be reduced from $550 to $390, according to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

The final decision is up to the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation. It will consider the lowered fees at its Dec. 1 meeting. 

If approved, a TDLR spokesperson said the change is expected to take effect Jan. 1, which is before midwives renew their licenses in February 2024. 

In July 2020, KXAN reported on a shortage of Black midwives as advocacy organizations said more women were moving towards home births during the pandemic.

Over the last two years, the number of new licenses issued and renewals decreased, according to a staff report. In fiscal year 2022, there were 43 new licenses issued compared to 28 in fiscal year 2023. The number of renewed licenses dropped from 142 in FY 2022 to 101 renewals in FY 2023.

There were 352 total licenses in Texas as of FY 2023, the report said. This is an increase from 341 in FY 2022. 

Texas’ Midwives Advisory Board considered the fee amendments but did not have a quorum at its Monday meeting to give a recommendation. The decision will still go to the commission for final approval.