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Chairman Wood’s Bill Tries to Lure Dr.’s to Small Towns

Sacramento – Today AB 2024, passed the Assembly Health Committee.  The bill would give rural hospitals special privileges to hire doctors in an effort to lure more healthcare providers to California’s rural communities.

Assemblyman Wood said, “We are experiencing a healthcare crisis. Rural California has 1 physician for every 3,500 people, and the average age of that one physician is 60.  It is crucial that we find ways to convince physicians to practice in our small towns.”

Assemblyman Wood Pursues Funding for Rural After-School Programs

Sacramento – The “Rural After-School Program” bill, authored by Assemblyman Jim Wood, passed through the Assembly Education Committee today with a vote of (5-0).  AB 2615 will ensure rural school districts get their fair share of federal after school program funding.

Assemblyman Wood said, “It is essential that all students are provided with safe, social and academic after-school alternatives, and currently rural schools are not getting their fair share.  I am proud to author a bill that will adjust the funding distribution formula to reflect the reality of life in rural communities by providing more financial aid for after-school programs.”   

Assemblyman Wood Proposes Specialty License for Small Farm Cannabis Growers

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

Assemblyman Wood said, “This is an important measure to support the small farm cannabis growers on the North Coast.  Last year’s Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA) established cultivator licenses and guidelines for a safer, cleaner and more transparent industry.  However, it is not fair to require the small cannabis farmers to adhere to the same standards as larger operations.  The proposed specialty cottage license will allow the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to develop regulations specific to small farmer practices.”

Assemblyman Wood – New Chair of Assembly Health Committee

Sacramento - Today newly sworn in Speaker Anthony Rendon, appointed Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) as the next Chair of the powerful Assembly Health Committee.

“Ensuring access to affordable quality healthcare has been a lifelong passion of mine. I began my professional life as a dentist and a healthcare provider where I witnessed first-hand the immense healthcare challenges we face in California,” said Wood. “I would like to thank Speaker Rendon for this tremendous opportunity, I am looking forward to using this committee to work closely with my colleagues and our new Speaker to address our key priorities this year, including the unprecedented number of Californians living in poverty.”

Legislators Introduce Sugary Beverage Tax to Combat Obesity and Diabetes Epidemic

(Sacramento) – Today, three California legislators introduced legislation that would establish a health impact fee on sugar sweetened beverages in an effort to fund obesity, diabetes prevention and dental programs. The measure, AB 2782, authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), and coauthored by Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg), and sponsored by numerous leading health advocacy organizations throughout the state, would generate an estimated $2.3 billion a year to prevent and treat obesity, diabetes, heart and dental disease that is ravaging the Golden State and the rest of the country.

“Science overwhelmingly demonstrates that the overconsumption of soda and other sugar laden beverages has led to an epidemic of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity throughout our country and here in California,” said Bloom. “Disease that is directly attributed to the overconsumption of sugary beverages costs us billions and brings with it untold misery that disproportionately affects disadvantaged communities and people of color. Now is the time to take action and begin to reverse the negative and preventable health impacts caused by these products.”

Assembly Approves New Minimum Smoking Age

Assembly Approves New Minimum Smoking Age

(Sacramento) – With Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) leading the way, the California Assembly approved a bill that would raise the minimum smoking age in California from 18 to 21. “It’s estimated that 90% of all smokers start before the age of 21,” said Assemblymember Wood. “Fewer smokers means healthier people, healthier people means we spend less money on healthcare. The only loser in this equation is the tobacco companies, and in my opinion, they have won for long enough.” The University of California, San Francisco recently published a study estimating that Californian’s spend over $9.8 billion treating the effects of tobacco use every year, roughly $3.5billion of which is billed directly to Medi-Cal. Learn more in this Assembly Access video.

Legislators Respond to Coastal Commission

Sacramento Today - California Legislators announced a new bill in response to recent calls for action following the Coastal Commission firing their executive director.  AB 2002 would require anyone, with the exception of volunteers, who engages the Coastal Commission with the intent of influencing decision making to register as a lobbyist.

Assemblyman Wood said, “The fact that this is not already required is an egregious loophole.  The public and the legislature have the right to know who is influencing decisions made by the Coastal Commission and a responsibility to hold the Commission to the same standards as other policy making bodies.