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Assemblyman Wood Pushes Emergency Airlift Bill Across the Finish Line

For immediate release:

Today Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-North Coast) presented SB 326 on the Assembly floor.  The bill authored by Senator Jim Beall extends the funding for Medical Air Transportation through Jan. 1 2020 and mandate the state develop a reliable funding source beyond that.

Assemblyman Wood said, “Given the extreme access to healthcare issues we face across much of my district, in particular in Del Norte and Trinity Counties, these services are critical.”

When patients on Medi-Cal need to be airlifted to a medical facility the cost of the flight is paid for out of a special fund called the Emergency Medical Air Transportation Act (EMATA) fund.  The money for this fund comes from an added $4 assessment on Vehicle Code violations, or traffic tickets.  This assessment program is set to run out on January 1st 2016.

“I am proud to present and co-author this bill, access to healthcare is one of my top priorities.  This bill stabilizes the EMATA fund and puts us on the right track towards a sustainable long-term solution,” said Wood.

AB 326 will now go to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

Elected in 2014, Assemblymember Jim Wood (D- Healdsburg) represents the 2nd Assembly District, which includes all of Del Norte, Trinity, Humboldt and Mendocino counties, plus northern and coastal Sonoma County, including the northern half of Santa Rosa.