Imperial Valley Coalition for Sustainable Healthcare Facilities

« Back to all Updates

No Amendments for AB918

It’s Peace Out for Assemblyman Garcia.

In most of our articles, we have been advocating for amendments to AB918.  To see these suggested amendments go to the Solutions page. In the State Legislature February 16 is the last day that any amendments can be initiated for amendments to any prior chaptered bill, like AB918.  However, it is clear now that Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia will not attempt to amend this bill and whose well-intended efforts to improve our health care system has in fact made it worse. His Co-author Senator Steve Padilla seems unwilling to agree to the of any amendments unless agreed upon by departing Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia.   It is inconceivable that something as simple as submitting a place holder bill, generally referred at as a “spot bill” can and will not be done.  This simply keeps the options open for adding amendments to the bill during the remainder of this year.  

As described by the Legislative Counsel, a “spot bill” is one that does not make any substantive change to existing law, “and would not otherwise affect the ongoing operations of state or local government.” An “intent bill” is one that merely makes a statement of legislative intent.  In both instances, these bills upon introduction are merely placeholders for future language. They do not make any substantive changes to existing law. By the rules of the Assembly and Senate, spot bills or intent bills may not be referred to a policy committee unless and until the bill is amended to make a substantive change in the law.

We have said over and over that the intent of creating a single healthcare district is good for the county, however, there are flaws in this new law.  We need get it right because we will have to live with it, not departing Assemblyman Garcia and Co-Author Senator Steve Padilla who resides in Chula Vista.  However, since he will not be running for re-election,he has literally nothing to gain or lose.  Senate Padilla is with us until December 7, 2026.  Assemblymember Garcia has offered to make amendments only if IVHD requests them, however there is no way they could have acted soon enough to meet this February 16 deadline.  Consequently, his offer was another empty gesture.  

My lifelong profession has been centered on human behavior and relationships.  Watching this process unfold has stimulated my curiosity about Assemblyman Garcia’s behavior, motives, relationships, and actions.  Two words seems to surface that might cover it all which are Humorous and HUBRIS. Websters defines Hubris as exaggerated pride or self-confidence.  How do you reason with or collaborate with a person driven by hubris?  Hubris comes from Ancient Greek.  English picked up both the concept of hubris and the term for that brand of cockiness from the ancient Greeks, who considered hubris a dangerous character flaw capable of provoking the wrath of the gods. In classical Greek tragedy, hubris was often a fatal shortcoming that brought about the fall of the tragic hero. Typically, overconfidence led the hero to attempt to overstep the boundaries of human limitations and assume a godlike status, and the gods inevitably humbled the offender with a sharp reminder of their mortality.  Humorous may also apply since this whole effort has been a comedy of errors.

We have sent our proposed amendments to Assemblymember Garcia and his staff in a timely manner for his consideration.  These amendments are not outrageous and do not change the spirit and intent of AB918.  They simply are designed to facilitate its success.  We have tried on numerous occasions to meet in person with Assemblymember Garcia, however the best he can do is direct us to his staff for any concerns we have.  We did not elect his staff as our representative, we elected Assemblymember Garcia, and we choose to direct our concerns to him.  To date he continues to refuse to meet.  Our formal request to meet with Senator Padilla has goes unanswered, until late this week, when he agreed to participate in a Zoom call with one of Coalition participants. Of course, this delay tactic has worked. It is too late.

We should all be concerned for the candidate who is successful in winning this the Assembly seat for District 36.   He will be faced with having to clean up this huge fiasco.  The question now, is when will Senator Padilla who is sitting on the sidelines will get engaged.   

We should be even more concerned for seven members of the IVHD board who must play the hand they have been dealt.  Rest assured is not a winning hand, and they cannot ask for new cards now. 

Lastly, we, the citizens of Imperial County should be concerned for our friends and family members who likely will be left with not a single healthcare system that we so envisioned, but a hospital that no one wants due to its enormous debt. The new system which will lose its tax base and incur expense to redo its licenses, contracts, and branding for simply a name change.  Thank you, Assemblymember Garcia for such a wonderful goodbye gift.  We will remember you fondly.

Is this humorous or hubris? You decide.

More insights

The 14th Amendment

In April 2024, Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District (PMHD) filed a writ of mandate in Imperial County Superior Court, seeking declaratory relief from Assembly Bill 918,

Read more »

What is UCSD’s Plan?

During the Imperial Valley Healthcare District meeting held on March 11, the Kaufman Hall feasibility study was reviewed and discussed. One of the participants via

Read more »