SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Calif. Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law Senate Bill 191. The new law extends stable funding for pediatric trauma care centers throughout California. Authored by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), the new law allows counties to continue to collect funds for local emergency medical services, including pediatric trauma care, at no cost to the general fund. Without SB 191, many counties would lose their only source of dedicated funding for pediatric trauma care. The bill goes into effect on January 1, 2014.

Senator Alex Padilla“There are only 14 pediatric trauma care centers in our state of 38 million people. Funding is a major barrier to opening additional trauma centers. When pediatric trauma patients must be transported by helicopter, the time that elapses during transport can impact survival and recovery rates. SB 191 will not only provide sustained funding for existing trauma centers, it provides funding to counties that are seeking to open new ones,” said Senator Padilla.

“I applaud Governor Brown for signing SB 191. It will provide critical funding to pediatric trauma care centers and emergency rooms throughout California,” said Senator Alex Padilla.

Specifically, the law allows counties to continue to impose a $2 penalty on every $10 assessment on certain criminal and vehicle code violations. Fifteen percent of this assessment would be allocated directly for emergency pediatric trauma care. More than twenty counties participate in the program. In 2008, Senator Padilla authored SB 1236, which extended the sunset date for the program until January 1, 2014. SB 191 extends the program until January 1, 2017.

Senator Alex Padilla, 40, graduated from MIT with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He currently serves on the Board of MIT and is President of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. He is Chair of the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee and represents the more than 1,100,000 residents of the 20th State Senate District in Los Angeles. For more information about Senator Padilla visit his website .