Senator George Runner (R-Antelope Valley) introduced legislation that will result in an annual savings of over $118,000 for the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.
“This legislation is about equity. Currently Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department pays fees that they should not have to pay. This bill will correct this problem and save taxpayer dollars that could be better used for public safety,” said Runner.
Senate Bill 208 rectifies existing inequities in California law regarding hospital fees. Currently, the state exempts state run facilities from licensing fees. However, despite the fact that the Los Angeles County Jail performs the same duties as the state, it does not receive these exemptions.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said, “The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department appreciates the continuing commitment and support from Senator Runner regarding public safety.”
Baca said, “By waiving the medical license fee, Senate Bill 208 will save the Department over $118,000 annually. The Los Angeles County Jail system currently functions as a quasi state facility, where most of our medical costs now are spent on inmates who are destined for state prison. As Governor Schwarzenegger's Prison Reform Package reflects, there is a symbiotic relationship between state prison and the county jail system. This money can be better spent on more critical areas of public safety.”
The Los Angeles County jails house approximately 20,000 inmates, most of them bound for state prison. In order to fully accommodate the amount of arrests made, the jail would need facilities for 30,000 inmates.
SB 208 will be heard in a Senate policy committee during March 2007.