Wilk holds trauma care funding legislation in committee

Commits to working through last minute opposition
Thursday, June 29, 2017

SACRAMENTO –Senator Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley announces he is holding Senate Bill 792 in the Assembly Committee on Local Government while he works through last minute opposition. SB 792 would establish an oversight commission for Los Angeles County Measure B trauma funding.

“My goal is to make sure the Antelope Valley and other outside areas of downtown LA are receiving their fair share of trauma dollars. I believe that requires more transparency and oversight on how the Board of Supervisors distributes the funds,” said Wilk. “In the past few days last minute opposition has surfaced to some provisions of the bill. It’s only fair to hear them out and see if we can address their concerns.”

In the 2002 general election, residents of Los Angeles County passed a special use tax of 3-cents per square foot on real property improvements to rescue and revive the failing LA County trauma network. The LA County Board of Supervisors oversees how that money is distributed but there have been complaints that money is not doled out equally.  A 2014 California State Auditor report uncovered a host of issues with the administration of these funds as well and made recommendations to the Board, all but one of which were ignored.

Approximately $190 million of the $250 million in trauma fund revenue is siphoned off to three county run hospitals, one of which isn’t even a trauma center. The remainder is used to meet the rest of the County’s trauma care needs. For example, Antelope Valley Hospital is the 15th busiest emergency room in the nation and one of LA County’s busiest trauma centers. The hospital sees 12 percent of LA County trauma and ER patients annually yet receives less than 5% of Measure B funds.

“I am 100 percent committed to addressing the funding inequity and bringing better oversight as to how the Board distributes trauma dollars. Since the opposition surfaced, we have had productive conversations and have all committed to providing greater transparency to the public,” said Wilk. “The legislative process is a collaborative one, and working with stakeholders to craft a stronger bill is just part of that process.”