BILL NUMBER: AB 2920	CHAPTERED
	BILL TEXT

	CHAPTER  829
	FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE  SEPTEMBER 30, 2006
	APPROVED BY GOVERNOR  SEPTEMBER 30, 2006
	PASSED THE SENATE  AUGUST 31, 2006
	PASSED THE ASSEMBLY  AUGUST 31, 2006
	AMENDED IN SENATE  AUGUST 22, 2006
	AMENDED IN SENATE  JUNE 20, 2006
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  APRIL 27, 2006
	AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY  APRIL 18, 2006

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Leno
   (Coauthors: Assembly Members Berg, Goldberg, Hancock, Koretz,
Laird, Nation, Pavley, Saldana, and Yee)
   (Coauthors: Senators Kehoe and Kuehl)

                        FEBRUARY 24, 2006

   An act to add Sections 9103 and 9103.1 to the Welfare and
Institutions Code, relating to seniors.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 2920, Leno  Seniors.
   Existing law, the Mello-Granlund Older Californians Act,
establishes the California Department of Aging in the California
Health and Human Services Agency. Existing law sets forth the duties
and powers of the department.
   This bill would require the department to ensure that programs and
services provided through the Older Americans Act and the
Mello-Granlund Older Californians Act in each planning and service
area are available to all older adults regardless of specified
characteristics or circumstances, or by association with a person or
persons with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics
or circumstances, that restrict an individual's ability to perform
normal daily tasks or that threaten his or her capacity to live
independently.
   The bill would require the department to require that each area
agency on aging includes the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
transgender seniors in its needs assessment and area plans and to
provide technical assistance to the area agencies on aging regarding
the unique needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender
seniors. The bill would authorize the department to adopt regulations
to implement the bill's provisions, and would require the department
to do so if necessary, and only after consultation with specified
entities.
   This bill would also express the intent of the Legislature that
this act not increase General Fund obligations for programs
administered by area agencies on aging.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:


  SECTION 1.  Section 9103 is added to the Welfare and Institutions
Code, to read:
   9103.  The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
   (a) Recent studies have shown that lifelong experiences of
marginalization place lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)
seniors at high risk for isolation, poverty, homelessness, and
premature institutionalization.  Moreover, many LGBT seniors are
members of multiple underrepresented groups, and as a result, are
doubly marginalized.  Due to these factors, many LGBT seniors avoid
accessing elder programs and services, even when their health,
safety, and security depend on it.
   (b) LGBT seniors often lack social and family support networks
available to non-LGBT seniors. They may face particular health risks,
as disease prevention strategies often ignore LGBT seniors, and HIV
and AIDS drug trials generally do not include older participants.
   (c) LGBT seniors are denied many vital financial benefits provided
to heterosexual married couples. For example, surviving same-sex
partners are denied the social security benefits that married couples
are provided, and may face heavy taxes on the transfer of assets
upon the death of a partner. Moreover, even under California law,
LGBT seniors are denied equal long-term care insurance protections.
This costs LGBT seniors hundreds of millions of dollars each year in
lost benefits.
   (d) The number of people 65 years of age and older in California
is estimated to double to 6.5 million by the year 2020, thereby
increasing the number of LGBT seniors who are receiving inadequate
services.
   (e) Ensuring that the needs of LGBT seniors as well as other
underrepresented groups are adequately assessed during the planning
and development of programs and services will increase access to the
programs administered by the California Department of Aging and the
area agencies on aging.
   (f) California leads the nation in the protections it affords to
LGBT persons. As failure to meet the needs of LGBT seniors is a
problem of national scope, including LGBT seniors and other
underrepresented groups in need of assessment and area plan process
will help the state to be a model for change in other states and at
the federal level.
  SEC. 2.  Section 9103.1 is added to the Welfare and Institutions
Code, to read:
   9103.1.  (a) The department shall ensure all older adults have
equal access to programs and services provided through the Older
Americans Act and under this division in each planning and services
area, regardless of physical or mental disabilities, language
barriers, cultural or social isolation, including that caused by
actual or perceived racial and ethnic status, including, but not
limited to, African-American, Hispanic, American Indian, and Asian
American, ancestry, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity,
marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, or any other
basis set forth in Section 12921 of the Government Code, or by
association with a person or persons with one or more of these actual
or perceived characteristics, that restrict an individual's ability
to perform normal daily tasks or that threaten his or her capacity to
live independently.
   (b) This section is not intended to increase General Fund
obligations for programs administered by area agencies on aging.
   (c) The department shall require that each area agency on aging
include the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender seniors
in their needs assessment and area plans.
   (d) The department shall provide technical assistance to the area
agencies on aging regarding the unique needs of the lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and transgender seniors.
   (e) The department may adopt regulations to implement this
section. If the department determines that adopting regulations is
necessary, it shall do so only after consultation with the area
agencies on aging and the California Association of Area Agencies on
Aging.