BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    


          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                  AB 2567|
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                                 THIRD READING

          Bill No:  AB 2567
          Author:   Leno (D), et al
          Amended:  7/3/08 in Senate
          Vote:     21

           SENATE GOVERNMENTAL ORG. COMMITTEE  :  6-4, 6/10/08
          AYES:  Florez, Negrete McLeod, Padilla, Vincent, Wiggins,  
          NOES:  Battin, Denham, Harman, Wyland

           SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE  :  6-3, 6/18/08
          AYES:  Scott, Alquist, Padilla, Romero, Simitian, Torlakson
          NOES:  Wyland, Denham, Maldonado

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  45-28, 5/19/08 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT  :    Harvey Milk Day:  official designation

           SOURCE  :     Equality California

           DIGEST  :    This bill requires the Governor to proclaim May  
          22 of each year as Harvey Milk Day, and designates that  
          date as having special significance in public school and  
          educational institutions and encourages those entities to  
          conduct suitable commemorative exercises on that date.

           Senate Floor Amendments  of 7/3/08 added coauthors and made  
          a technical change.

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law requires public schools to close  


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          on or for a number of holidays, including:  January 1; Dr.  
          Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; President Lincoln's birthday;  
          President Washington's Birthday; Memorial Day; July 4;  
          Labor Day; Veteran's Day; Thanksgiving Day; December 25;  
          all days appointed by the Governor or the President for a  
          public fast, thanksgiving or holiday; and, any other day  
          designated as a holiday by the governing board of the  
          school district.  

          Existing law authorizes public schools to close, if the  
          governing board pursuant to an agreement under collective  
          bargaining agrees, on or for a number of other holidays,  
          including Cesar Chavez Day and Native American Day, and  
          authorizes public schools to conduct exercises or  
          instruction that focuses students on the purpose of these  

          Existing law requires public schools to remain open and  
          conduct appropriate commemorative exercises to celebrate  
          specific holidays, including the anniversary of the  
          adoption of the Constitution of the United States, the  
          birthday of Luther Burbank, Susan B. Anthony Day, and the  
          anniversary of the death of Crispus Attucks (Black American  

          Existing law, Education Code Section 37222, designates a  
          number of days as days having special significance, when  
          public schools are encouraged to observe and conduct  
          suitable commemorative exercises, as specified.  These days  
          include the Day of the Teacher, John Muir Day, and  
          California Poppy Day.

          Existing law, Government Code 6700 et seq., requires the  
          Governor to proclaim various days as holidays and days of  
          remembrance, including among others:  the third Monday in  
          January, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; the month of  
          February, as Black History Month; February 12th, as Lincoln  
          Day; February 19th, as Japanese American Evacuation Day;  
          March 7th, as Arbor Day; March 31st, as Caesar Chavez Day;  
          April 24th, as California Day of Remembrance of the  
          Armenian Genocide; the third Saturday in June, as  
          Juneteenth National Freedom Day: a day of observance;  
          September 9th, as Admission Day; September 28th, as  
          Cabrillo Day; the fourth Friday in September, as Native  


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          American Day; the first Sunday in October, as Stepparents  
          Day; and, December 7th, as Pearl Harbor Day.

          This bill:

          1.Makes various legislative findings relative to Harvey  
            Milk's legacy as a civil rights leader and declares that  
            his life and social contributions have left an indelible  
            mark on the history of our nation and hold a special  
            meaning for the people of California. 

          2.Requires the Governor to proclaim May 22nd of each year  
            as Harvey Milk Day and designates that date as having  
            special significance in public schools and educational  

          3.Encourages all public schools and educational  
            institutions to observe this day and conduct exercises  
            remembering and recognizing the life of Harvey Milk, his  
            accomplishments, and the contributions he made to this  

          Harvey Barnard Milk (1930-1978) was a San Francisco Board  
          of Supervisor member from 1977-78, who along with Mayor  
          George Moscone (former State Senator), was assassinated by  
          former Board of Supervisor Dan White at San Francisco City  
          Hall on November 27, 1978.  Milk was the first openly gay  
          person to be elected to public office in a major city of  
          the United States.  Milk was also known in the Castro  
          Community of San Francisco before his election to the Board  
          of Supervisors as the "Mayor of Castro Street" for his  
          community leadership, and was unsuccessful in his bids to  
          the Board of Supervisors in 1973 and the State Assembly in  

          Harvey Milk was named in the "Heroes and Icons" section of  
           Time  magazine's "Time 100:  The Most Important People of  
          the Century."  Many institutions and organizations are  
          named for Milk, including the Harvey Milk Recreational Arts  
          Centre, Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, the Harvey Milk  
          Institute, the Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial Branch  
          Library, and the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club in San  


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          Outside of San Francisco are a number of alternative  
          schools named for Milk in the United States, including  
          Harvey Milk School in New York City.  Oakes College at the  
          University of California, Santa Cruz has an on-campus  
          apartment building named Harvey Milk.  The City of San  
          Francisco also erected a bust of Harvey Milk in City Hall  
          in tribute to his service and to memorialize his life's  
          work, which was installed on May 22, 2008.

          Other tributes to Milk include the following:  (1) in 1995,  
          the opera  Harvey Milk  by composer Stewart Wallace and  
          librettist Michael Korie was premiered by the Houston Grand  
          Opera, and in 1996 it was recorded on CD under Donald  
          Runnicles with San Francisco Opera orchestra and chorus,  
          (2) the 1999, TV film  Execution of Justice  based on the  
          1983 play (of the same title) written by Emily Mann,  
          reenacted the assassination, (3) in 2000, a TV film  
           American Justice:  It's Not My Fault - Strange Defenses   
          examined the assassination with archival footage of Milk  
          and White, (4) in 2004, playwright and actor Jade Esteban  
          Estrada portrays Milk in the solo musical comedy  ICONS:   
          the Lesbian and Gay History of the World, Vol. 2  , and (5) a  
          movie titled Milk  will premier in November 2008.

          The author's office states that, "this measure would put  
          California on record as recognizing the social  
          contributions that Harvey Milk made to our nation as a  
          civil rights leader. It would also allow schools to conduct  
          activities that would foster respect for all, and educate  
          students about an important figure who is often omitted  
          from history lessons."
          The author's office indicates that this bill primarily  
          proposes to designate May 22 as a day having special  
          significance; as such, this bill does not result in  
          additional average daily attendance or funding for a school  
          district nor does it result in an additional holiday or day  
          of school closure.  The designation of a day of  
          significance triggers statutory encouragement for public  
          schools to observe and conduct commemorative exercises  
          suitable to the day, as specified in law, the decision as  
          to whether to observe any day of significance or to conduct  


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          suitable commemorative exercises is left to the local  
          education agency.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  No    
          Local:  No

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  7/7/08)

          Equality California (source)
          Alameda County Office of Education
          Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality
          Asian Pacific American Legal Center
          California Commission on the Status of Women
          California National Organization for Women
          City and County of San Francisco
          GSA Network
          Lambda Letters Project
          NAACP, California State Conference
          San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom
          San Francisco Unified School District
          Service Employees International Union
          Stonewall Democratic Club of Greater Sacramento

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  7/7/08)

          Concerned Women For America of California
          Capitol Resource Family Impact
          Traditional Values Coalition

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    Supporters of this bill, the  
          California Commission on the Status of Women states that,  
          "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth in  
          public schools and educational institutions face a dearth  
          of openly gay role models and historical figures.  Harvey  
          Milk's significant contributions to the struggle for LGBT  
          equality are felt today, as even the process of coming out  
          in California public schools can prove lethal.  AB 2567  
          would recognize Milk's lasting legacy as well as encourage  
          an open discussion about the historical and present-day  
          challenges faced by the LGBT community."

          Also in support, the San Francisco Unified School District  
          (SFUSD) "believes that sexuality and gender tolerance  
          should be a core component of teaching and learning about  


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          the civil rights movement."  The SFUSD emphasizes that  
          "Harvey Milk Day would give students, teachers, parents,  
          and our community an opportunity to engage in dialogue  
          about creating, maintaining, and strengthening a safe and  
          inclusive environment in schools."

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    Opponents of this bill, the  
          Concerned Women for America of California states that, "We  
          are concerned that adding such commemorative exercises  
          reduces important classroom time in core subjects.  In  
          addition, this subject in particular raises the question of  
          whether it is necessary or appropriate to teach young  
          children about a person's identity based on his or her  
          sexual behavior, particularly without parental permission."  

          ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  
          AYES:  Arambula, Beall, Berg, Brownley, Caballero, Charles  
            Calderon, Coto, Davis, De La Torre, De Leon, DeSaulnier,  
            Dymally, Eng, Evans, Feuer, Fuentes, Furutani, Galgiani,  
            Hancock, Hayashi, Hernandez, Huffman, Jones, Karnette,  
            Krekorian, Laird, Leno, Levine, Lieber, Lieu, Mendoza,  
            Mullin, Nava, Nunez, Parra, Portantino, Price, Ruskin,  
            Salas, Saldana, Solorio, Swanson, Torrico, Wolk, Bass
          NOES:  Aghazarian, Anderson, Benoit, Berryhill, Carter,  
            Cook, DeVore, Duvall, Emmerson, Fuller, Gaines, Garcia,  
            Horton, Huff, Jeffries, Keene, La Malfa, Maze, Nakanishi,  
            Niello, Plescia, Sharon Runner, Silva, Smyth, Spitzer,  
            Strickland, Villines, Walters
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Adams, Blakeslee, Garrick, Houston, Ma,  
            Soto, Tran

          TSM:nl  7/8/08   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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