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Appropriations Committees Pass Pro-Equality Legislation
Bills to Support LGBTQ Students, Expand Access to HIV Prevention Medication, End Sex Offender Registry Discrimination Against LGBTQ Young People, Protect Transgender Incarcerated Individuals, Fund Services for Homeless Youth All Advance to Floor Votes
May 16, 2019 at 1:33 pm

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2019

CONTACT: Samuel Garrett-Pate
PHONE: (323) 848-9801/MOBILE: (973) 476-3770/EMAIL: sam@eqca.org

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Assembly and Senate Appropriations Committees advanced pro-equality legislation sponsored by Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization, Thursday during the Committees’ suspense file hearings. The bills would support LGBTQ students, expand access to HIV prevention medication, end discrimination against LGBTQ young people with respect to the state’s Sex Offender Registry, protect transgender incarcerated individuals and fund services for youth experiencing homelessness.

“Today’s actions are just the latest example of California’s continued leadership in the fight for LGBTQ civil rights and social justice,” said Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur.

“Each of these bills would advance the health and well-being of LGBTQ Californians, while paving the way for other states to follow in California’s footsteps. We’re grateful to both Committees for their support of these critical policy priorities.”

The following bills sponsored by Equality California were passed by the Assembly Appropriations Committee and will now advance to the Assembly floor for a vote:

  • AB 493: Safe and Supportive Schools Act of 2019 by Asm. Todd Gloria (D-San Diego)
    AB 493 will require California school districts to provide teachers and other certificated staff with the tools and training they need — and want — to better support their LGBTQ students and create safer school environments. Public school teachers and staff are on the front lines of providing a safety net against the effects of discrimination and lack of acceptance for the LGBTQ community, which can result in higher dropout rates, lower economic success and a number of other disparities in health and well-being that LGBTQ people continue to face. Equality California is cosponsoring AB 493 with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.
  • AB 307: Homeless Youth Grant Program by Asm. Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-San Bernardino)
    AB 307 will require the development and administration of a grant program that would primarily support nonprofit organizations or continuum of care administrative entities in serving youth experiencing homelessness. Funding will go toward an array of supportive services, including rental assistance, drug abuse prevention, health care and employment assistance. All programs funded under AB 307 will be required to have the cultural competence to serve youth who identify as LGBTQ. Equality California is cosponsoring AB 307 along with the California Coalition for Youth, Tipping Point Community, John Burton Advocates for Youth, Housing CA and Corporation for Supportive Housing.
The following bills sponsored by Equality California were passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee and will now advance to the Senate floor for a vote:
  • SB 145: LGBTQ Young People Nondiscrimination in the Sex Offender Registry by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco)
    SB 145 will address the state’s discriminatory practice of treating LGBTQ young people differently than their non-LGBTQ peers when engaging in voluntary sexual activity. Currently, for example, if an 18-year-old boy has voluntary sex with his 17-year-old girlfriend, he isn’t automatically required to register as a sex offender. But if an 18-year-old boy has voluntary sex with his 17-year-old boyfriend or an 18-year-old girl has voluntary sex with her 17-year-old girlfriend, they’re automatically required to register as sex offenders, no matter the circumstances. SB 145 only applies when a teenager age 14 or older has voluntary sex with a partner who is within 10 years of age. Equality California is cosponsoring SB 145 with Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey.
  • SB 159: PrEP and PEP Access Expansion by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Asm. Todd Gloria (D-San Diego)
    SB 159 will reduce barriers to accessing critical life-saving HIV prevention medications. This legislation will authorize pharmacists to furnish a 30-day supply of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and a full 28-day course of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to patients without a doctor’s prescription. Pharmacists are already authorized to furnish birth control pills without a prescription. The legislation will also prohibit insurance companies from requiring patients to obtain prior authorization before using their insurance benefits to obtain PrEP or PEP. Equality California is cosponsoring SB 159 with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, California Pharmacists Association, APLA Health and the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
  • SB 132: Transgender Respect, Agency and Dignity Act by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco)
    SB 132 addresses a very real problem facing incarcerated transgender individuals, namely, transgender people being housed according to their birth-assigned gender, not their gender identity or perception of safety, resulting in significant risk of violence. Transgender women housed in male facilities face particular risk of rape and assault. SB 132 will change state law to require incarcerated transgender people in the custody of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation be classified and housed based on their gender identity, unless the incarcerated person’s evaluation of their own safety is that another housing placement is safest. By housing incarcerated transgender people based on their gender identity or perception of health and safety, transgender people will be housed in institutions that decrease their likelihood of experiencing targeting and violence, and they will have access to the programming and work opportunities that will best promote and support their health and safety. Equality California is cosponsoring SB 132 with ACLU California, Lambda Legal, Transgender Law Center, TransLatin@ Coalition, TGI Justice Project and National Center for Lesbian Rights.

The Assembly Appropriations Committee held AB 650 (Low – LGBTQ Mortality Data) and AB 758 (Carrillo – Strengthening California’s Equal Pay Act), both cosponsored by Equality California, in committee. For a complete list of Equality California’s 2019 sponsored legislation, visit eqca.org/legislation.

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Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org


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