Asm. Wood’s Rural Healthcare Package Clears Major Hurdle

Today two bills aimed at bringing improving healthcare in rural California, were passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee and are now one step away from being approved by the legislature.

AB 2024 would provide a special exemption to north coast hospitals allowing them to recruit and directly hire physicians and specialists.  That practice is currently banned due to fears that hospital management will inappropriately influence medical decisions if doctors are employed directly by the hospital.  This means that doctors have to open and manage their own practice and contract independently to work at hospitals.  Unfortunately that model makes it nearly impossible to recruit doctors to rural communities and in part has led to the desperate shortage of doctors on the North Coast.  By allowing hospitals to directly recruit and hire doctors, the doctors can earn a guaranteed salary, and not have to worry about the extra burdens of operating an independent practice.

Cannabis Excise Tax Offers Renewed Funding for Rural Landowners

SACRAMENTO - Assemblyman Jim Wood’s (D-Healdsburg) proposed cannabis excise tax AB 2243 passed the Senate Governance and Finance Committee today. The bill moves next to the Senate Appropriations Committee before finally reaching the Senate Floor.

“Right before the vote on the Assembly Floor we made some great amendments that will help our rural communities, I feel really good about our chances moving forward," said Wood.

Humboldt Area Foundation Named Non-Profit of the Year

Sacramento, Today the Humboldt Area Foundation (HAF) was honored as a Nonprofit of the Year by Assemblyman Jim Wood (D- Healdsburg) at the State Capitol in Sacramento.

“Nonprofit organizations are vitally important to the economy and well-being of California, but too often nonprofits are hidden in plain sight.” Assemblyman Wood said, “The Humboldt Area Foundation has been a tremendous force for good in Humboldt, Trinity, and Del Norte Counties for over 40 years, I am proud to call them one of ours.”

Broadband Map Act Now Mandates New Conduits

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Jim Wood’s (D-Healdsburg) Broadband Map Act, AB 1549, has undergone significant amendments expanding the scope of the bill, helping to ensure all Californians have access to modern communication technology.

AB 1549 would create a centralized database detailing where conduits available for fiber-optic cables are laid throughout the state.  Recently, the bill was amended to require Caltrans to notify local broadband providers when they plan to open a trench capable of housing conduit.  If there is no interest from private companies, Caltrans will install a conduit for future use.

Cannabis Excise Tax Approved by State Assembly

Assemblyman Jim Wood's proposed cannabis excise tax AB 2243 won a major victory today passing the Assembly with 60 votes. Any new tax in California requires the support of 2/3 of each house (54 votes in the Assembly) necessitating support from both Democrats and Republicans.

Assemblyman Wood said, “I have worked from day one to ensure our rural communities have the resources we need to prevent, and cleanup the environmental catastrophe currently underway in our forests and watersheds.  This excise tax was part of AB 243 last year and was ultimately pulled at the last minute; this victory today is a huge step forward.”

Cottage Cannabis Farmer Bill Clears State Assembly

Sacramento – Today, Assemblyman Jim Wood’s “Cottage Cannabis Farmers Bill” passed the Assembly.  AB 2516 will create a new medical cannabis cultivator license for “micro farmers”.

California Goes Tobacco 21

SACRAMENTO – Today Governor Jerry Brown signed SB2X-7 raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 for the nearly 40 million people living in California.