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Davis, California

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

News in Brief: State Senate approves four Wolk measures

The State Senate voted on Thursday to approve four measures by Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis).

One of the initiatives, Senate Bill 1274, allows Shriners Hospital for Children in California to bill insurers for services provided to patients with insurance coverage. The legislation aims to enable the hospital to pay costs and maintain services for patients without insurance.

The measure provides the hospital with a narrow exemption from state law prohibiting hospitals that directly employ physicians from billing for services — a law to protect physicians’ ability to make independent patient treatment decisions. The bill was passed with a 36-0 vote.

“Shriners Hospital serves over 30,000 children with highly specialized health conditions in California every year, regardless of their insurance coverage,” Wolk said in a press release. “My aim is to ensure this charitable organization can continue to provide these children with top notch care.”

The Senate also approved three other Wolk initiatives including SB 1219. This measure continues the state’s plastic bag recycling program, set to end this year, and continues the collection of other plastic products accepted by the program.

SB 1495 prevents delays to time-sensitive operations at the Port of Stockton. SB 1415 clarifies state law to ensure certification of health and type of trees grown to produce olive oil and promote a healthy olive industry in California.

—Angela Swartz

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