State Assemblyman Rudy Salas speaks in this file photo.

The California legislature approved a bill Wednesday that would require the state public health department to develop public outreach programs for valley fever, an insidious respiratory disease endemic to Kern County, if signed by the governor.

But that bill, AB 1279, authored by Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, has been significantly stripped down by a committee from the version introduced last spring. In the legislative process, it lost millions of dollars in funding and robust elements that addressed flaws in disease reporting. 

Harold Pierce covers education and health for The Californian. He can be reached at 661-395-7404. Follow him on Twitter @RoldyPierce

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