The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has raised nearly 70,000 signatures for the initiative called the “City of Los Angeles Public Health Protection Act” and therefore now qualifies for the June 2014 ballot of the Statewide Primary Election.
We at Larchmont LA support the efforts of the AHF to establish a city health agency that is separate from and independent of the county. We will issue a more detailed statement explaning our position within the next few months.
Please find the text of the proposed measure below.
City of Los Angeles Public Health Protection Act (Proposed Text)
Section 1. Title.
This ordinance shall be known and may be cited as the “City of Los Angeles Public Health Protection Act.”
Section 2. Findings and Declarations.
The people of the City of Los Angeles hereby find and declare all of the following:
- (a) The promotion and protection of public health is one of the highest duties of government;
- (b) Despite this importance, the City of Los Angeles does not have its own ability to promote and protect the public health of its citizens. Instead, it currently contracts out this responsibility to the County of Los Angeles;
- (c) This arrangement has resulted in a waste of money, as fees paid to Los Angeles County under this arrangement have subsidized the healthcare needs of other areas of the County;
- (d) This arrangement has also resulted in failures to prioritize the healthcare needs of the residents of the City of Los Angeles, to their detriment.
Section 3. Purpose and Intent.
The people of the City of Los Angeles hereby declare their intent and purpose in enacting this ordinance to be to better promote and protect the public health of the City of Los Angeles by establishing a City of Los Angeles Department of Public Health, which will be responsible for promoting and protecting the public health, and enforcing public health laws of the City of Los Angeles.
Section 31.10 is hereby added to the City of Los Angeles Public Health Code to read as follows:
Section 31.10. Protection of Public Health.
- (a) The people of the City of Los Angeles wishing to place the highest priority on the protection of the public’s health have voted to re-establish an independent city health department. Since 1964, the City of Los Angeles has contracted with Los Angeles County for health services despite the fact that the largest share of funding for health services flowing from state and federal sources is directed at City residents. As such, City resources are going to subsidize wealthier cities (per capita) with much smaller populations of needy people. Three cities in Los Angeles County – Long Beach, Pasadena and Vernon – have retained their own health departments which are better able to address the needs of these individual cities.
- (b) The City of Los Angeles shall establish a Los Angeles Health Department (“Department”) to administer and enforce public health laws in the City of Los Angeles.
- (c) All costs for the establishment of the Department shall be derived from current fees collected and paid to Los Angeles County as a result of its activities to enforce public health laws in the City of Los Angeles.
- (d) Future revenue for the Department shall be generated from the collection of all fees, including, license, permit, and/or certification fees generated by the enforcement of the Public Health Code.
- (e) The Department shall be established within 120 days after this ordinance is enacted.
- (f) The City of Los Angeles shall be the only governmental entity able to enforce the public health laws of the City and/or the County of Los Angeles within the City of Los Angeles. The City of Los Angeles shall not contract with or otherwise provide for enforcement of public health laws to the County of Los Angeles.
Section 5. Severability.
If any portion of this ordinance is for any reason held to be unconstitutional, invalid or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, that invalidity shall not affect the remaining portions of this ordinance which can be implemented without the invalid provision, and, to this end, the provisions of this ordinance are severable.
Section 6. Competing Measures.
In the event that this measure and another measure or measures relating to the establishment of a health department in the City of Los Angeles shall appear on the same ballot, the provisions of the other measures shall be deemed to be in conflict with this measure. In the event that this measure shall receive a greater number of affirmative votes, the provisions of this measure shall prevail in their entirety, and the provisions of the other relating to the establishment of a health department in the City of Los Angeles shall be null and void.
Section 7. Amendment and Repeal.
The provisions of the Los Angeles Municipal Code added by, amended by, or contained in this initiative measure may be amended to further its purposes by ordinance passed by a majority vote of the Council and approved by the Mayor. The provisions of the Los Angeles Municipal Code added by, amended by, or contained in this initiative measure shall not be repealed, except by an ordinance adopted either by petition or by the Council at its own instance and adopted by a vote of the electors, or by an amendment of the Charter superseding the aforementioned provisions.
California State Court twice finds that L.A. County’s Department of Health Services violated the law by illegally awarding a $75M ‘no-bid’ contract to a favored vendor. Court also awards several hundred thousand dollars in legal fees to AHF, which brought the lawsuits.
In two separate lawsuits brought by AHF, the Court found the County violated the law in awarding contracts to manage the County’s Healthy Way HIV Contract to Ramsell Public Health Rx, LLC, a private company that provides pharmacy benefits management services, without competitive bidding or a competitive negotiation.