Schwarzenegger Supports Bill To Split DHS
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Tuesday is expected to announce his support for a bill (SB 162) that would split the Department of Health Services to create the Department of Public Health, the AP/Contra Costa Times reports.
Schwarzenegger has said he believes the new department would better prepare the state to deal with a major epidemic or bioterror attack.
Under the legislation, Schwarzenegger would name the state's public health officer, currently Mark Horton, to head the agency. The creation of the new department would cost no extra money, according to aides.
Schwarzenegger spokesperson Margarita Thompson said the governor might seek several amendments to the bill, which was introduced by Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento).
The Senate approved the bill in January, and it is being considered by Assembly health committees.
Also on Tuesday, Schwarzenegger is expected to sign an executive order instructing the Office of Emergency Services to make arrangements with suppliers of transportation, water, medical supplies and other necessities so that "we can get vital resources when and where we need them in times of crisis" (Lindlaw, AP/Contra Costa Times, 4/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.