A bill to give tax credits to businesses and companies that sponsor blood drives was introduced to the Senate on Tuesday.
Senate Bill 1025, authored by Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) would, for a period of 5 taxable years between 2022 and 2027, offer a credit to businesses that hold blood drives. The drive itself would need to be held in coordination with a non-profit blood bank organization, would need to be held on the businesses premises, and based upon the amount of people giving. The credited amount would not be allowed to exceed $10,000 per year.
SB 1025 would, if passed, also come into play retroactively in the form of a tax levy.
Senator Bates wrote the bill due to a major blood crisis currently happening due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the American Red Cross, donations have fallen by 10% due to the Omicron surge keeping many donors away and many businesses that normally hold drives moving to more of a remote business model. With blood transfusions and other needed medical procedures being delayed to the shortage, lawmakers from across the country have scrambled to come up with ways to boost blood donations.
“Approximately 6.8 million people in the U.S. donate blood every year; however, 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. There simply aren’t enough blood drives to meet the demand,” expressed Senator Bates in a statement on Tuesday. “It’s my hope SB 1025 will play a vital role in alleviating the blood shortage. An ample blood supply ensures patients have access to lifesaving treatments and operations.”
Bipartisan support for SB 1025
Despite only being introduced on Tuesday, SB 1025 has already received bipartisan support in both houses. This includes an Assembly co-author of the bill, Assemblyman Jim Cooper (D-Elk Grove), who also sponsored the bill due to the declining number of blood donations and drives.
“I am proud to be a joint author of SB 1025,” said Assemblyman Cooper. “Blood donations are a critical tool for saving lives. This bill will make a real impact, allowing businesses the opportunity to receive tax credits for sponsoring much-needed blood drives; helping blood banks recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.”
No opposition against the bill has come up yet, with both business groups, medical professionals, and blood donation organizations all also announcing support of the bill.
“We used to have big drives here,” noted Matt Sandler, a building event manager in Los Angeles, to the Globe on Wednesday. “But ever since the coronavirus, a lot of companies pulled out here, and even with the people who did stay, not many went out to donate, so the drives no longer happened.”
“With SB 1025, we’ll get a critical tax credit that makes hosting this very much worth while. A lot of people here, including returning people, are going to come out for a returned drive, and managers will do a lot of work to get the word out to get people to go. Everyone wins. The state spends some money on these credits for a restored blood reserve, people donating will help save lives, companies losses are offset and will promote the drives. You know, it’s no wonder people from both parties want this bill to pass. It’s doing the right thing and it makes sure companies aren’t negatively affected by the drives.”
SB 1025 is expected to be heard in Senate committees in the coming months.