State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, celebrated the passage of two Senate bills out of separate Assembly committees Wednesday.
Wilk announced in a news release that both Senate Bill 219, which seeks to create a pilot program for foster youth to receive grants for extracurricular and enrichment activities, and Senate Bill 202, which seeks to update the state’s rules regarding animal blood donation, were passed by the Assembly Human Services Committee and the Assembly Committee on Agriculture, respectively.
If passed, SB 219 would make foster youth eligible to receive a $500 grant that could be used to participate in extracurricular and enrichment activities.
“This grant would allow students to participate in activities they otherwise would be unable to do, such as sports, STEM programs, graduation activities, arts, music, dance and theater,” Wilk said in the release, adding the bill is sponsored by the Youth Law Center, which released a study earlier this year detailing the benefits of enrichment activities for foster youth.
“As pointed out by our eloquent speakers (who testified in the capitol), we cannot leave the fate of foster youth up to luck,” Wilk said in Wednesday’s release. “California’s foster youth deserve to have an equal fighting chance to use their skills and develop their talents. Quality care shouldn’t be optional.”
SB 202 is referred to by Wilk as the “Doggy Donor Bill” because it looks to provide more flexibility to the rules on animal blood donation and calls for a more humane treatment of animal blood donors.
The senator has previously discussed how veterinarians rely on animal blood banks to perform transfusions and other life-saving operations in their practices. However, California’s restrictive regulatory framework has limited their available options and resulted in only two commercially licensed blood banks, which has left California pet owners and veterinarians with a limited supply of blood.
“Ironically, my own dog is ill right now, and while she doesn’t need a blood transfusion, it certainly is a chilling reminder of how quickly a pet’s health can change. It (is) so important to ensure there is an appropriate supply of blood available when a crisis hits our pets (and) SB 202 would do just that,” Wilk said in a news release. “It addresses California’s shortage of animal blood products and ensures a more robust supply of blood without housing more animals in traditional animal blood donations facilities.”