Judge Blocks Effort To Create New LA Health Department

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge has thrown out a ballot initiative that would have ordered Los Angeles to create its own public health department.

Superior Court Judge Michael P. Linfield ruled Friday that the measure would conflict with state law.

The initiative collected nearly 70,000 petition signatures — more than enough to qualify for a ballot.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which sponsored the measure, said LA doesn’t receive its fair share of services from Los Angeles County’s health department.

However, foundation officials didn’t argue for the initiative in court. After criticism that a city department would duplicate county services, they’re proposing a citizen-led health commission instead.

The foundation hopes to put that concept before voters this year.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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