Amended in Assembly February 9, 2015

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 174


Introduced by Assembly Member Gray

(Principal coauthor: Senator Cannella)

January 22, 2015


An act relating to the University of California, and making an appropriation therefor.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 174, as amended, Gray. University of California: medical education.

Existing provisions of the California Constitution establish the University of California as a public trust under the administration of the Regents of the University of California. The University of California system includes 10 campuses, which are located in Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz.

This bill would express findings and declarations of the Legislature relating to the role of the University of California with respect to access to health care in the San Joaquin Valley.

The bill would appropriate $1,855,000 from the General Fund to the regents each fiscal year, commencing with thebegin delete 2015-17end deletebegin insert 2016-17end insert fiscal year, for allocation to the University of California to support expansion of the San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical Education, as specified.

The bill would appropriate $1,000,000 from the General Fund to the Regents of the University of California during thebegin delete 2015-17end deletebegin insert 2016-17end insert fiscal year for allocation to the University of California to support a 2-year planning effort geared toward the establishment of a separate traditional medical school at the University of California, Merced, as specified.

Vote: 23. Appropriation: yes. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the
2following:

3(a) The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Carebegin delete Act,
4when fully implemented in 2014, will mean thatend delete
begin insert Act providesend insert
5 millions of previously uninsured Californiansbegin delete will be seekingend delete
6begin insert access toend insert health services, including physician care. As a result of
7this additional demand for physician services, the projected
8statewide physician shortfall is 17,000 for 2015.

9(b) The San Joaquin Valley, which runs from Stockton to
10Bakersfield, is rich in cultural diversity and is the nation’s leading
11agricultural region. However, the valley is disproportionately
12affected by the state’s physician shortage, which is expected to
13intensify in the years ahead given the high rate of population
14growth in the area. Access to health care is 31 percent lower in the
15San Joaquin Valley than in the rest of California.

16(c) Several regions of the San Joaquin Valley are federally
17designated Medically Underserved Areas (MUAs). The calculation
18of MUAs involves four variables: the ratio of primary medical
19care physicians per 1,000 population, the infant mortality rate, the
20percentage of the population with incomes below the poverty level,
21and the percentage of the population 65 years of age or over.

22(d) To help address California’s physician workforce needs, the
23Regents of the University of California engaged in a comprehensive
24strategic planning process and, in May 2008, approved moving
25forward with planning efforts leading to the development of a
26possible medical school at the campus of the University of
27California, Merced (UC Merced). At that time, the regents also
28approved moving forward with other preparations, such as planning
29for the initial basic sciences and clinical infrastructure. Upon
30completion of these and other activities, the regents envisioned
31that a formal proposal to establish a new medical school eventually
32could be developed.

P3    1(e) The medical schools of the University of California,
2including a possible future medical school at UC Merced, will play
3an important role in addressing California’s physician shortages.

4(f) Medical education and a possible future UC Merced School
5of Medicine will further contribute to the economic growth of the
6San Joaquin Valley and the state, as well as expand educational
7opportunities for valley residents, and will further support UC
8Merced’s trajectory toward becoming a top-tier university.

9(g) UC Merced’s San Joaquin Valley Program in Medical
10Education (PRIME) is providing a key interim resource for training
11valley health care providers. This program accomplishes all of the
12following:

13(1) Strengthens the desire for new physicians to practice in the
14San Joaquin Valley, which is one of California’s most medically
15underserved areas.

16(2) Reduces health disparities and inequalities in the San Joaquin
17Valley.

18(3) Forms lasting relationships between the program and
19communities, hospitals, clinics, and physicians to enhance health
20care in the region.

21(h) Students who take part in PRIME benefit from firsthand
22experience with interdisciplinary health care by providing care in
23medically underserved communities, working with patients and
24families from culturally diverse backgrounds, and developing a
25true understanding of the issues and conditions that impact access
26to and quality of health care in the region.

27(i) Despite its numerous benefits for its region, PRIME lacks
28an ongoing source of funding for its current enrollment as well as
29the financial resources to expand capacity to meet the needs of the
30valley.

31(j) Given the San Joaquin Valley’s health care needs and the
32critical role that a possible future medical school at UC Merced
33would play in addressing those needs, it is essential for the State
34of California to continue developing the valley’s health care
35resources by sustaining the current PRIME enrollment, expanding
36that program’s capacity, and continuing to move toward the
37establishment of a medical school at UC Merced.

38

SEC. 2.  

The sum of one million eight hundred fifty-five
39thousand dollars ($1,855,000) is hereby appropriated from the
40General Fund to the Regents of the University of California each
P4    1fiscal year, commencing with thebegin delete 2015-17end deletebegin insert 2016-17end insert fiscal year,
2for allocation to the University of California to support expansion
3of the San Joaquin Valley PRIME program to admit up to 12
4students per year and operate the program with up to 48 student
5participants from across the four-year curriculum annually.

6

SEC. 3.  

The sum of one million dollars ($1,000,000) is hereby
7appropriated from the General Fund to the Regents of the
8University of California during thebegin delete 2015-17end deletebegin insert 2016--end insertbegin insert17end insert fiscal year
9for allocation to the University of California, to support a two-year
10planning effort geared toward the establishment of a separate
11traditional medical school at the University of California, Merced.
12The effort shall include determination of the necessary program
13components such as basic and clinical science courses, curriculum,
14capital needs, one-time and ongoing operational funding, student
15support services, and other necessary components. The University
16of California shall submit a report to the appropriate policy and
17fiscal committees of the Legislature by March 1,begin delete 2018,end deletebegin insert 2019,end insert
18 summarizing its planning efforts and providing recommendations
19 and estimates for the infrastructure, personnel, and funding, and
20time necessary to establish and maintain such a program.



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