LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif.—Amid a severe blood shortage, California lawmakers have introduced new legislation to encourage blood donation by granting tax credits to companies and organizations that sponsor blood drives.
Senate Bill 1025, introduced by state Sen. Patricia Bates, a Republican, and co-authored by state Assemblyman Jim Cooper, a Democrat, would encourage the hosting of blood drives from businesses partnering with a nonprofit blood bank organization in order to boost blood donations.
“The continued impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and the current business environment have made it difficult for some organizations to support ongoing blood drive sponsorships,” Bates said in a Feb. 16 statement.
According to Bates, approximately 6.8 million people in the United States donate blood every year. However, blood centers are unable to meet demand as overall donations have been declining, with fewer people becoming new donors because of the pandemic.
The legislation states that company-sponsored blood banks would receive up to $10,000 tax credits per taxable year based on the number of verified blood donations.
Susan Noone, president of the Blood Centers of California—an alliance of 11 nonprofit community and hospital-based blood centers that sponsored the legislation—said that “maintaining a sufficient blood supply is a community effort.”
“SB 1025 will help to recognize and appreciate the community members that host blood drives and provide an opportunity for generous donors to give the gift of life,” Noone said in a statement.
According to a statement made by the American Red Cross in January, the nation faces its worst blood shortage in more than a decade, citing a 10 percent decline in donations since the beginning of the pandemic.
The American Red Cross welcomes all blood types and especially needs O positive and O negative, as well as platelet donations.
People in need of blood transfusions the most—such as accident victims, cancer patients, and sickle cell disease patients—would directly benefit from donations.
“It’s my hope SB 1025 will play a vital role in alleviating the blood shortage,” Bates said. “An ample blood supply ensures patients have access to lifesaving treatments and operations.”
If approved, the measure would take effect immediately as a tax levy until the end of 2026.