Tagline: Until the Work Is Done
All News & Updates   /   Press Releases   /     /     /     /     /  
Appropriations Committees Pass Pro-Equality Legislation
Bills to Protect Transgender Incarcerated Individuals, Expand Access to HIV Prevention Medication, Support LGBTQ Students All Advance to Final Floor Votes
August 30, 2019 at 2:37 pm

In This Section


August 30, 2019

CONTACT: Samuel Garrett-Pate
PHONE: (323) 848-9801/MOBILE: (973) 476-3770/EMAIL: press@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, during Friday’s suspense file hearings. The bills passed would protect transgender incarcerated individuals, expand access to HIV prevention medication and support LGBTQ students.

Equality California released the following statement from Executive Director Rick Zbur after the committees’ suspense file hearings.

“The pro-equality legislation passed today reinforces California’s leadership role in the fight for LGBTQ civil rights and social justice. Each of these bills would create positive, meaningful change for LGBTQ Californians and provide a roadmap for other states to follow. We look forward to championing these bills and the rest of our pro-equality legislative package until each bill receives Governor Newsom’s signature.”

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

  • SB 132: Transgender Respect, Agency and Dignity Act by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco)
    SB 132 will require that incarcerated transgender people in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) be classified and housed based on their sense of health, safety and gender identity — rather than the sex they were assigned at birth. Transgender people, particularly transgender women, are at much greater risk for sexual victimization and other forms of assault or harassment in correctional facilities, especially when housed in facilities not consistent with their gender identities. This often leads to them being removed from the general population and placed in limited housing access like solitary confinement, which provides limited or no access to services like rehabilitative programming, educational programing, religious programming, and work opportunities. Housing people where they feel safest will help ensure greater access to programming, which has been proven to reduce recidivism and further rehabilitation efforts. Equality California is cosponsoring SB 132 with ACLU California, Lambda Legal, Transgender Law Center, TransLatin@ Coalition, TGI Justice Project and Medina Orthwein LLP.
  • 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 HIV preventative medications. This bipartisan legislation will authorize pharmacists to furnish pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to patients without a 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. PrEP is a once-daily pill for HIV-negative people that almost entirely eliminates the risk of contracting HIV. PEP is medication that a person takes after being exposed to HIV, in order to prevent the virus from taking hold. PEP is a 28-day course of drugs that, if started within 72 hours after exposure to HIV, significantly reduces risk of infection. Both PrEP and PEP are critical strategies to prevent HIV transmissions and to ultimately end the epidemic. Equality California is cosponsoring SB 159 with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, California Pharmacists Association, APLA Health and the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
The following bill sponsored by Equality California was passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee and will now advance to the Senate floor for a final vote:
  • AB 493: Safe and Supportive Schools Act of 2019 by Asm. Todd Gloria (D-San Diego)
    AB 493 will provide California schools with the resources to support LGBTQ students and create safer school environments, by requiring online training for teachers of grades 7 to 12, and all other certificated employees at these schools. LGBTQ students have higher dropout rates than their non-LGBTQ peers and continue to report missing school because of safety concerns at higher rates than non-LGBTQ students. This legislation will give teachers and school staff the tools and training they need — and want — to support LGBTQ students who may be facing harassment or lack of acceptance at school, rejection at home or discrimination in the broader community. 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. If LGBTQ students have support in school, their likelihood of overcoming these disparities and succeeding in school and life increases significantly.

For a complete list of Equality California’s 2019 sponsored legislation, visit eqca.org/legislation.


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

Share This Story