Lawmakers have approved a bill (AB 2115) that would require a written employment agreement when a local health care district employs or contracts with a hospital administrator or CEO, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports (AP/Sacramento Bee, 8/9).
On Thursday, the Senate voted 36-0 to approve the measure, by Assembly member Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville) (Monterey County Herald, 8/9). The Assembly also unanimously voted to approve the legislation (California Healthline, 7/26).
The bill now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown (D) for consideration (Monterey County Herald, 8/9).
Impetus for Bill
The legislation was developed following a state audit of Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System, a public hospital in Monterey County. The audit found that Sam Downing, a former CEO of Salinas Valley, had worked without a written contract for 26 years.
Alejo's office said that Downing -- who retired in 2011 -- received more than $4.9 million in supplemental pension and severance benefits.
Downing received most of the money before he retired. In 2010, Downing announced that the hospital's staff would be reduced by 5% to 6% while he was receiving the expanded compensation (California Healthline, 7/26).