Oversight of LA County trauma care dollars given the green light

SACRAMENTO – Senator Scott Wilk, R- Antelope Valley, announces that Senate Bill (SB 792), a measure to establish an oversight commission for Los Angeles County Measure B trauma funding has cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee and is headed to the Senate floor for a vote.

“Today’s vote is great news for the taxpayers of Los Angeles County. This measure is about transparency and accountability. Voters expected Measure B trauma care funding to be distributed equitably among LA County’s trauma care centers, but that has not been the case,” said Wilk. “The legislature is sending the County a loud and clear message – fix this system.”

Currently the County allocates over 76 percent, or about $190 million, of funds to three county-run hospitals, leaving a less than 15 percent to meet the rest of the County’s trauma care needs.

Antelope Valley Hospital, the 15th busiest emergency room in the nation and one of LA County’s busiest trauma center, sees 12 percent of LA County trauma and EMS patients annually yet does not receive its fair share of Measure B funds. Similarly underserved are residents in the Malibu and East San Gabriel Valley regions. Residents of rural and remote areas of LA County are forced to travel long distances, often by helicopter during an emergency. This was not the voters’ intent when they approved Measure B.

“I have been working with LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger to rectify this inequity, and certainly hope today’s action spurs the Board of Supervisors to revisit the funding formula,” said Wilk. “SB 792 has bipartisan support and I remain hopeful that it will make it all the way to the Governor’s desk. Either way, I remain committed to ensuring the Antelope Valley gets an equitable share of trauma funding.”

SB 792 cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously and will proceed to full Senate for consideration.

Audio links to related content: https://wilk.cssrc.us/file/170525wilksb7921mp3