SB 1953: The Law, the Program, and the Implementation Challenge
SB 1953 was introduced and enacted quickly following the Northridge Earthquake, but its basic elements had been developed over more than a decade before the earthquake. The legislature did not develop the law in haste in response to the Northridge Earthquake, nor was the law developed without substantial input from technical experts on building performance, State agencies, hospital owners, and others. SB 1953 is, essentially, a minor rewrite of OSHPD’s response to the Milestone 4, Initiative 1.2 in the California Seismic Safety Commission’s report entitled A Recommended Program to Seismically Strengthen Pre-Hospital Act Hospital Facilities (Seismic Safety Commission, California at Risk: Reducing Earthquake Hazards 1987 to 1992. State of California, Sacramento, 1986). There is one noteworthy difference between what the Seismic Safety Commission and OSHPD proposed and what was finally enacted. Whereas both the Seismic Safety Commission and OSHPD indicated the need for some kind of financial assistance and flexible compliance methods for hospitals to meet the compliance deadlines, SB 1953 did not provide financial assistance, financial incentives, or compliance flexibility for hospitals to help them comply. It simply provided hard milestones for compliance without enabling funding or access to funding. This would prove to be a serious obstacle to implementation.
KeywordsMajor Earthquake Acute Care Hospital Federal Emergency Management Agency Life Safety Hospital Facility
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