Salas Bills to Aid Seniors, Disabled, and Farmers Advances Committee
AB 970 and AB 1589 would increase transportation access to health care and improve air quality
SACRAMENTO – Yesterday, Assembly Bills (AB) 970 and 1589, authored by Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield), passed out of the Assembly Committee on Transportation with bipartisan support. AB 970 would establish a grant program to provide transportation to and from health care appointments for older individuals and persons living with a disability. AB 1589 would expand the Carl Moyer Program to include the replacement of old gasoline tractors with newer, clean diesel engines.
“Older adults struggle with getting to and from their medical appointments. AB 970 would help remove that significant transportation barrier and allow seniors and people living with disabilities to make their appointments. This is a step toward ensuring that the transportation needs and health care access of older adults are met,” said Assemblymember Salas.
“This expansion is an innovative way to improve air quality and help incentivize local businesses to move to cleaner burning engines,” said Assemblymember Salas. “AB 1589 will improve the quality of life for all residents of the Valley by providing funding through the Carl Moyer Program for farmers who want to switch to cleaner and more efficient tractors.”
AB 970 would create a grant program administered by the Department of Aging to provide clean transportation to non-emergency medical appointments with zero emission or near-zero emission vehicles for seniors and people living with disabilities. This bill would help increase access to care for vulnerable populations while also improving local air quality and reducing overall emissions, providing significant health benefits.
By expanding the Carl Moyer Program, AB 1589 will improve air quality in California. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District estimates that replacing an uncontrolled gasoline tractor with a new Tier 4 Diesel tractor achieves a 97 percent reduction in harmful Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions. In addition, the Valley Air District found that these projects would reduce cancer risk by 68 percent going from uncontrolled gas to Tier 4 diesel. This is just one example of how health outcomes can be improved in the Valley through positive changes in our laws.
“The changes proposed by AB 1589 will allow the District to fund the replacement of uncontrolled high-polluting gasoline powered equipment that are currently ineligible for funding under the Carl Moyer program. These projects provide reductions of localized criteria pollutants and air toxics emissions and provide additional options under the Moyer program for improving public health.” - Samir Sheikh, Executive Director/APCO San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.
Assemblymember Salas has been working closely on these bills with the California Senior Legislature and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. AB 970 and AB 1589 move to Assembly Appropriations.
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Assemblymember Salas represents part of the City of Bakersfield, the cities of Arvin, Avenal, Corcoran, Delano, Hanford, Lemoore, McFarland, Shafter, Wasco, and the communities of Armona, Buttonwillow, Home Garden, Kettleman City, Lamont, Lost Hills, Stratford and Weedpatch.