Gov. Newsom and California hospitals seek delay for earthquake building upgrades

California
Patients rest under shade after being evacuated from Ridgecrest Regional Hospital following a 6.4 earthquake on July 8, 2021. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Patients rest under shade after being evacuated from Ridgecrest Regional Hospital following a 6.4 earthquake on July 8, 2021. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

One hour after a 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck Northern California on Thursday, the California Hospital Assn. tweeted that it’s “time to update seismic standards — to focus on all the services people need after a disaster of any kind.”

But the association’s tweet omitted that its proposal circulating in the state Capitol would actually weaken existing standards, giving hospitals another seven years — until 2037 — to ensure that their buildings remain operable after the Big One and limiting the required upgrades to buildings that support emergency services.

Nor did the tweet mention that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office, in private negotiations at the state Capitol, has supported the association’s request for more time to do less work, according to multiple sources involved in the discussions in Sacramento who were not authorized to speak about them. Newsom’s office declined to comment.

Debates about hospital building standards aren’t new in California. This time around, they have resulted in an impasse between some of the most powerful forces in state politics: labor unions and hospitals.

Read the full story at LATimes.com

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