The California Assembly and Senate Appropriations Committees advanced four pieces of pro-equality legislation sponsored by Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, during Thursday’s suspense file hearings. The bills would repeal the racist and transphobic law that criminalizes loitering with intent to engage in sex work (SB 357), expand access to contingency management programs (SB 110), update California’s leave laws to be more equitable and accessible (AB 1041) and protect the privacy of trans and nonbinary Californians when they update important identifying documents (AB 218).
Equality California released the following statement from Executive Director-designate Tony Hoang:
“The California Legislature continues to lead the way in the fight for full, lived LGBTQ+ equality. We are thrilled with today’s advancement of four of our top pro-equality priorities, including legislation to repeal a so-called loitering law that encourages racial and gender identity profiling, to combat the meth crisis devastating our community through proven interventions, to create more equitable leave laws and to protect the privacy of trans and nonbinary Californians. While extremists around the country — and a handful here at home — seek to set back the clock on progress, we are moving California forward.”
The following bills sponsored by Equality California were passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee and will now advance to the Senate floor for a final* vote:
AB 218: Affirming Records by Assemblymember Chris Ward (D-San Diego)
AB 218 will codify and streamline the process for transgender Californians to update their marriage certificates and the birth certificates of their children to accurately reflect their legal name and gender, while protecting their privacy. Accurate and affirming identity documents are critical to preventing discrimination when, for example, enrolling a child in school, applying for a loan, or making medical decisions on behalf of an incapacitated spouse. AB 218 is sponsored by Equality California.
AB 1041: Job Protected Leave for Chosen Family by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland)
AB 1041 will expand the definition of “family member” for purposes of family caregiving and sick leave to allow workers to use existing time off to care for a “designated person,” thereby creating equitable access to job protected family caregiving and sick leave for all of California’s working families. AB 1041 is cosponsored by Equality California, California Lawyers Employment Association, California Work and Family Coalition, Equality Rights Advocates and Legal Aid at Work.
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 110: Recovery Incentives Act by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco)
SB 110 (Wiener) will expand access to contingency management (CM) programs. CM is a substance use disorder treatment that uses positive reinforcement to achieve behavioral change. CM has proven to be the most effective method of intervention for methamphetamine disorder. Because there is currently no form of medication-assisted treatment for methamphetamine use disorder, CM is a critical tool in addressing meth and other stimulant use. Meth use is a longstanding crisis in the LGBTQ+ community due to historical and ongoing stigma, shame, and marginalization. SB 110 is an important pillar in California’s response to this public health crisis. SB 110 is cosponsored by Equality California, APLA Health, California Association of Alcohol and Drug Program Executives, California Society of Addition Medicine, HealthRIGHT360 and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.
SB 357: Safer Streets for All Act by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose)
Senate Bill 357 repeals California Penal Code Section 653.22, the law that criminalizes loitering with the intent to engage in sex work. SB 357 will also enable people who have been convicted of loitering with the intent to engage in sex work to seal their records. The law has contributed to discrimination on the basis of gender, race, class and perceived sex worker status – in particular, targeting Black and Brown women, members of the transgender community and sex workers. By repealing § 653.22, Senate Bill 357 would protect vulnerable populations from discriminatory enforcement. SB 357 is cosponsored by Equality California, Positive Women’s Network-USA, St. James Infirmary, SWOP LA, TransLatin@ Coalition, Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach and ACLU California Action.
*Subject to a concurrence vote.
For a complete list of Equality California’s legislative priorities, 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