SACRAMENTO – Two bills from Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, which would improve the lives of the state’s most vulnerable including seniors, the disabled and homeless people by increasing access to medication, treatment and specialized equipment, cleared a key hurdle today.
“Today’s vote takes us a step closer to addressing the medical needs of the underserved,” said Sen. Dodd. “Mobile pharmacy vans to bring medication and counseling to California’s hard-to-reach communities, improving health for homeless people and many others who have inadequate access to care. And providing refurbished medical equipment such as wheelchairs and walkers to people with disabilities and seniors will ensure all Californians have access to care.”
Sen. Dodd’s proposal, Senate Bill 872, authorizes public agencies and others on the front lines of serving homeless and vulnerable people to operate mobile pharmacies. Each mobile unit would have a physician as part of the team to prescribe medications that can be dispensed immediately. Oversight would come from the state Board of Pharmacy. The bill is supported by healthcare groups as well as Contra Costa, San Diego and Santa Clara counties. It was approved by the Assembly Business and Professions committee with unanimous support.
Senate Bill 842 directs the state to create a three-year pilot program in Contra Costa, Napa and Solano counties to redistribute durable medical goods to children and adults with disabilities as well as seniors, at no charge. The bill, previously introduced by former Assemblymember Jim Frazier, D-Fairfield, is sponsored by the California Senior Legislature. Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters, is principal co-author. It was approved by the Assembly Human Services committee.
Also advancing today was another bill from Sen. Dodd, SB 20, which secures Cal Fresh benefits for an estimated 100,000 community college students. It cleared the Assembly Higher Education committee with overwhelming support.
Senator Bill Dodd represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Yolo, Sonoma, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. You can learn more about the district and Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.