Senator Scott Wilk’s (R-Santa Clarita) Senate Bill 792, an effort to fairly distribute funding for trauma centers, passed the Senate Health Committee 8-0 on Wednesday.
The bill, a reiteration of Los Angeles County Measure B from 2002, will reallocate $250 million in funding to more accurately reflect where money is most needed in hospital trauma centers throughout L.A. County by reinstating an oversight commission.
“Trauma funds are paid by all L.A. County taxpayers with the expectation they would be distributed equitably, and I am pleased my colleagues see the need for added transparency in this process,” Wilk said in a statement.
The Board of Supervisors were to disperse funds to trauma centers in need, but when county supervisors abolished the committee that oversaw the funds, about $190 million of the $250 million went to three county hospitals in central Los Angeles.
In 2011-12, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital received $908,812, placing the hospital second to last in terms of funding among non-county operated trauma centers, the 2014 California State Audit Report said.
Henry Mayo Newhall has not taken a stance on the bill, according to spokesperson Patrick Moody.
“(The oversight commission is) a collection of community stakeholders that will make sure the money goes where it’s supposed to, to increasing the quality and availability of trauma services throughout the region, not just in Central L.A.,” Wilk said.
Taxes from Measure B sought to fund emergency medical services, trauma centers and bioterrorism response to cover uncompensated care costs, especially in light of 9/11.
Under the tax, three cents per square foot on real property improvements go toward the county trauma network.
Senate Bill 792 is a bi-partisan effort with Senator Tony Mendoza (D- Artesia).
The Senate Governance and Finance Committee will vote on the bill next week.
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