Lobbyists Push for Retrofit Funds
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) $222-billion bond proposal "has launched a frenzy of lobbying" in the state -- including efforts to secure funding for hospital retrofits -- as "advocates are positioning themselves to be first to obtain money from state agencies" if the plan is approved, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The Service Employees International Union is lobbying for funds to help hospitals comply with seismic safety regulations, and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles) said he will make such funding a priority.
However, California hospitals are instead lobbying to delay the 2008 deadline to comply with the rules. Hospital officials said they are concerned that if funding for retrofits is included on the bond, lawmakers will contribute only a small portion of the cost of the rebuilding, while retaining the deadline.
Hospital lobbyists have said retrofitting California's hospitals could cost more than $40 billion (Rau, Los Angeles Times, 2/12).