BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 959


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          Date of Hearing:  April 29, 2015


           ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON ACCOUNTABILITY AND ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW


                                  Rudy Salas, Chair


          AB 959  
          (Chiu) - As Amended March 26, 2015


          SUBJECT:  Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Disparities  
          Reduction Act


          SUMMARY:  Requires certain state departments, in the course of  
          collecting demographic data directly or by contract as to the  
          ancestry or ethnic origin of Californians, to collect voluntary  
          self-identification information pertaining to sexual orientation  
          and gender identity.  Specifically, this bill:


          1)Applies only to the following state departments:


             a)   The Department of Health Care Services;


             b)   The Department of Public Health;


             c)   The Department of Social Services; and,


             d)   The Department of Aging.










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          2)Requires collected data to be reported to the Legislature  
            during the regular process of reporting demographic data.


          3)Requires collected data to be reported to the public in  
            accordance with state and federal law, except for personal  
            identifying information, which shall be deemed confidential  
            and shall not be disclosed.


          4)Requires the specified state departments to comply as soon as  
            possible, but no later than July 1, 2017.


          EXISTING LAW requires a state agency, board, or commission that  
          directly, or by contract, collects demographic data as to the  
          ancestry or ethnic origin of Californians, to use separate  
          collection categories and tabulations for each major Asian group  
          and each major Pacific Islander group.  This data is required to  
          be made available to the public in accordance with state and  
          federal law, except for personal identifying information, which  
          shall be deemed confidential (Government Code 8310.5)


          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown


          COMMENTS:  State government agencies routinely collect  
          demographic data on race, ethnicity, gender, and disability on a  
          wide variety of state forms and surveys.  The purpose of this  
          data is to help better understand disparities in underserved  
          communities.  Current law only requires any state agency, board,  
          or commission that directly, or by contract, collects  
          demographic data to separate the collection of this data by  
          major Asian groups.  The law is silent on demographic data  
          collection based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  This  
          bill would fill this gap in state-collected demographic data to  
          include sexual orientation or gender identity data collection.









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          According to the author, the inclusion of this data collection  
          would help to end the long-standing systematic discrimination  
          towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)  
          communities.  The author states that the lack of hard evidence  
          on the health and well-being disparities impacting LGBT  
          communities essentially keeps these individuals invisible to the  
          state and hence excluded from government funding and services  
          that address health disparities and the effects of stigma and  
          discrimination.  


          The author seeks to reduce health and well-being disparities for  
          LGBT communities by ensuring that sexual orientation and gender  
          identity data is collected on a statewide basis by key  
          government agencies that deal with health and human services.   
          This bill requires the Departments of Health Care Services,  
          Public Health, Aging and Social Services to include the  
          collection of sexual orientation and gender identity data in the  
          course of their current demographic data collection efforts.  


          This bill is intentionally non-specific about which programs or  
          surveys currently conducted by each department should include  
          sexual orientation and gender identity data to provide the  
          departments the flexibility to implement its overall goal.  It  
          also explicitly emphasizes the need for privacy when collecting  
          this data for the safety of those who voluntarily self-identify.  
          The aggregated sexual orientation and gender identity data  
          collected as a result of this bill would be reported to the  
          Legislature and made publicly available.


          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support








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          Equality California (sponsor)


          ACLU of California


          American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees,  
          AFL-CIO


          Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center


          California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies


          California Labor Federation


          California LGBT Health & Human Services Network


          California Pan-Ethnic Health Network


          LGBTQ Center of Long Beach


          Lutheran Social Services of Northern California


          NorCal Mental Health America


          Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County










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          San Francisco Drug Users Union


          San Francisco HIV/AIDS Provider Network 


          San Francisco Suicide Prevention


          University of California San Francisco LGBT Resource Center




          Opposition


          None on file




          Analysis Prepared by:William Herms / A. & A.R. / (916) 319-3600