Governor Signs Eduardo Garcia’s Desert Healthcare District Board Equitable Election Eligibility Legislation

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

(Coachella – CA) Today, Governor Newsom signed AB 1095, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia’s (D- Coachella) health access measure related to the newly-expanded Desert Healthcare District. This law offers slight amendments on board election eligibility for the newly-annexed territory; without this change the two board members appointed from the Eastern Coachella Valley areas would be prohibited from seeking election to the post following the conclusion of their respective terms.

 

“Our groundbreaking work to expand the Desert Healthcare District service boundary to include the entire Coachella Valley has already made major strides to improve the health and wellness landscape of our region. Board representation is an absolutely critical component to increasing the accessibility of these much-needed resources and achieving healthcare parity,” said Garcia.

 

“AB 1095’s provisions aim to strengthen Eastern Coachella Valley health outcomes by allowing for greater continuity of care, election consistency, as well as protect the rights of residents to pursue public office in representation of their community’s medical needs.”  

 

On March 26, 2019, The Desert Healthcare District unanimously passed a resolution in support of this legislative venture additionally citing their appreciation for Assemblymember Garcia. 

 

The Desert Care Network and Tenet Healthcare submitted a letter of support stating that “amending the terms of new board appointees and which will help to ensure greater continuity and consistency in future election cycles,” the document also reinforced the importance of board representation as we move forward to meet the needs of residents in the newly-expanded area.

 

AB 1095 marks the fifth of Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia bill’s already chaptered into law this year:

AB 335 – Imperial County Transportation Commission 

AB 293 – Direct Environmental Benefit Offset Protocols

AB 743 – Student Asthma Medication Access Act

SB 200 – Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Fund (Monning/E.Garcia)

AB 1095 – Desert Healthcare District

 

Additional AB 1095 Background:
The expansion of the Desert Healthcare District to include the entire Coachella Valley was authorized by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia’s AB 2414 (Chaptered 2016) and approved by residents via Measure BB in the November 2018 election.

 

On January 15, 2019, the Desert Healthcare District Board appointed two new directors to serve from the newly-annexed area; one appointee for an initial two-year term and the other to a four-year term of office. AB 1095’s amendments will allow these board members to seek election to the board following the conclusion of their appointed term.