Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Bill to boost state funds for UC Riverside Medical School heads for critical vote

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The medical school at UC Riverside is seeking additional state funds to help its transition to a four-year program.

California’s Senate Education Committee unanimously approved a bill Wednesday that would allocate an extra $15 million annually to the UC Riverside Medical School for the next decade.

The additional state funds in Senate Bill 21, along with local government funds and donations, would make it possible for UCR to expand its two-year medical program to a full four years.

The bill’s author, Senator Richard Roth (D-Riverside), said that's critical. 

“In 10 years, with the fast growth of our region’s population and with the current decline in the number of doctors, we’ll be down to less than a third of the providers our residents need,” Roth said.

Roth got the votes for SB21 this round, but he’ll have to clear a higher bar when the bill goes before the state’s purse holders — the  Senate Appropriations Committee.

In a hearing last month, Democrats on one of the Appropriations subcommittees asked Sen. Roth to come up with a way to offset the $15 million a year cost.

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