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Proposed Bill Would Offer Blood Donors $500 Tax Credit

Processing of bags and vials of blood.
Department of Defense Inspector General
Flickr Creative Commons
Processing of bags and vials of blood.

As blood banks across the state continue to struggle with supply, a new proposed state bill is hoping to incentivize blood donations.

The proposed bill (Assembly Bill 1709) would give individuals a $500 tax credit if they donate blood at least four times a year.

Portrait of Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez.
Krishnia Parker and Jeff Walters
Office of Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez
Portrait of Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez.

Pomona Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez says the ongoing blood shortage inspired him to write the bill. "This is more like looking outside the box and how we can incentivize more folks to donate blood," said Rodriguez.

According to the American Red Cross, supplies are as lowest they've been in over a decade. Rodriguez says that since blood is in such high demand, we need to start thinking differently on how to get more people out to donate. "I would just like to encourage everybody to go out and donate blood. If you haven't thought about it before, maybe this can get you thinking about doing it now," said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez also said he's joining those calling on the FDA to end its donor restrictions based on sexual orientation. "I think they need to reevaluate their policies and procedures and maybe see how we can incentivize those folks to be able to donate blood as well," said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez says the biggest thing to think about when giving blood is that it could help save a life.

Jonathan Linden was a reporter at 91.9 KVCR in San Bernardino, California. He joined KVCR in July 2021 and served with the station till October 2022.