Alarcon Proposes Legislation To Increase Some Fines To Fund Trauma Care
Sen. Richard Alarcon (D-Van Nuys) on Thursday announced that he has introduced legislation (SB 57) that would increase fines for some criminal offenses and traffic violations to fund trauma centers and emergency departments, the Los Angeles Times reports. The measure would raise about $100 million annually, $15 million of which would be allocated to pediatric trauma centers.
Alarcon said increases in fines would be higher for crimes that frequently result in injuries requiring trauma care. The bill would increase the current $320 fine by as much as $40.
Alarcon, who is running for mayor of Los Angeles, said six EDs in Los Angeles County have closed in the last 14 months. "This is my effort to get dollars into the system and save some additional sites from going under," he said.
Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, said he would study the bill before taking a position on it. He said, "Our view has always been that penalties and fines should be set at that amount that deters criminal activity," adding, "The minute you start imposing excessive penalties and fines for revenue-raising purposes, it raises the question of whether the penalty fits the crime" (McGreevy, Los Angeles Times, 1/14).