On Saturday, the California Legislature adopted the Fiscal Year 2013 - 2014 state budget which provides full and continuous funding of $15 million for the University of California, Riverside Medical School. The budget will now be sent to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature.
The $15 million of ongoing state money in this year's state budget is a victory for the UCR Medical School, the health of the people of Inland Southern California, and our regional economy. This victory will benefit all of us today and our families for generations to come.
Today, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties have only 36 and 44 primary care doctors per 100,000 people, respectively. This is far below the federally recommended ratio of 60 to 80 doctors per 100,000 people.
According to the California HealthCare Foundation, Riverside County is currently the only county of more than 1 million people in the State to have fewer than 100 MDs per 100,000 people. The demand for new doctors and healthcare providers will be more acute as California implements the Affordable Care Act and thousands of Inland Southern California residents will become eligible for healthcare coverage, many for the first time. The UCR Medical School will help provide the doctors our region needs to meet our future healthcare needs.
Funding for the UCR Medical School is provided in a budget augmentation of $125 million which was negotiated between the Governor and Legislative leaders. The Legislature's newly approved state budget is balanced and was completed before the State Constitutional deadline of midnight, June 15.
The approved state budget now goes to Governor Brown who can sign, veto or modify individual line items within the Legislature's approved budget. California's fiscal year begins on July 1, 2013.
As always, it is an honor to serve you.
RICHARD D. ROTH
Senator, 31st District