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Speier Legislation Might Buy County Hospital Time

Legislation authored by San Francisco Democrat State Senator Jackie Speier might buy Tuolumne County more time to complete seismic retrofits at the County Hospital.

Spierer spokeswoman Tracy Fairchild says Senate Bill 167 would exempt hospitals from a 2008 deadline to meet tougher standards to make buildings more earthquake-proof. Fairchild says Speier feels many hospitals are already on financial life support and that the cost of complying with the 2008 deadline might send some hospitals, like Tuolumne General, into code-blue.

It could cost up to $15-million to bring Tuolumne General into compliance with the new building safety standards.