(SACRAMENTO) – The State Assembly today sent lifesaving legislation to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown. Assembly Bill 1719 by Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona) would require high school districts to teach CPR instruction if they require a course in health education for graduation.
According to the American Heart Association, nearly 326,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside the hospital each year, and sadly, only 10 percent survive. Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.
“This has been a long process and I am thrilled that this bill is on the Governor’s desk,” said Rodriguez. “By training students in CPR, we have the ability to put almost one million lifesavers in our community each year. The impact this legislation can have on sudden cardiac arrest survival cannot be overstated. I urge Governor Brown to sign this bill.”
AB 1719 received bipartisan support in both the Senate and Assembly and has a wide range of support including the California School Boards Association, California Professional Firefighters, SEIU and the City of Los Angeles. The legislation is co-sponsored by the American Heart Association and American Red Cross who have led the effort to pass similar legislation in 34 other states.
“As this legislation clears a final hurdle before going to the Governor’s office, California is closer than ever to ensuring that our students graduate high school with lifesaving CPR skills,” said Debbie Wilson, CPR Advocate whose daughter Morgan passed away at the age of 17 after suffering Sudden Cardiac Arrest. “We are proud our lawmakers are prioritizing the implementation of CPR instruction in our schools, thereby equipping more bystanders with the skills to save lives in communities across California.”
“AB 1719 could create a generation of lifesavers by requiring hands-on CPR training before high school graduation,” says Gary Strong, CEO of the American Red Cross Gold Country Region. “We urge the governor to support this effort to build communities that are prepared to respond to one of the leading causes of death in the United States, cardiac arrest.”
The Governor has until September 30th to sign or veto bills.
Assemblymember Rodriguez is Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Local Emergency Preparedness, and Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management. He represents the 52nd Assembly District which includes the cities of Chino, Montclair, Ontario, Pomona and portions of unincorporated Fontana