Seniors and people with disabilities in Contra Costa, Napa and Solano counties could get wheelchairs and other specialized medical equipment at no charge under a newly proposed bill in the state Legislature.

Senate Bill 842, authored by state Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa, would establish a redistribution program for three years in the three counties for equipment like wheelchairs, walkers, power scooters and shower chairs that are often too costly or unavailable to people who need them, and often get discarded by those who no longer have use for the items.

“This bill will redirect these essential items to people who need them most, ensuring everyone can live with greater independence and quality of life,” Dodd said in a statement.

Dodd’s office said the program is similar to others around the country, including in Massachusetts, and that the bill is sponsored by the California Senior Legislature, a volunteer panel that advocates for laws to help older people in the state.

“Recycling medical equipment and supplies is an important step in keeping these perfectly usable, sometimes new items out of our local landfills,” said Yvonne Baginski with the California Senior Legislature. “Establishing a reliable network of free supplies that everyone can access at any time will not only help people in need but save money in the health care system overall.”

Dan McMenamin is the managing editor at Bay City News, directing daily news coverage of the 12-county greater Bay Area. He has worked for BCN since 2008 and has been managing editor since 2014 after previously serving as BCN’s San Francisco bureau reporter. A UC Davis graduate, he came to BCN after working for a newspaper and nonprofit in the Davis area. He handles staffing, including coaching of our interns, day-to-day coverage decisions and management of the newswire.