BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                       AB 959


                                                                      Page  1





          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING


          AB  
          959 (Chiu)


          As Amended  March 26, 2015


          Majority vote


           ------------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Committee       |Votes |Ayes                 |Noes                 |
          |                |      |                     |                     |
          |                |      |                     |                     |
          |----------------+------+---------------------+---------------------|
          |Accountability  |8-0   |Salas, Lackey,       |                     |
          |                |      |Brough, Burke,       |                     |
          |                |      |Frazier, Irwin,      |                     |
          |                |      |Medina, Rodriguez    |                     |
          |                |      |                     |                     |
          |----------------+------+---------------------+---------------------|
          |Appropriations  |13-0  |Gomez, Bonta,        |                     |
          |                |      |Calderon, Chang,     |                     |
          |                |      |Daly, Eggman,        |                     |
          |                |      |Eduardo Garcia,      |                     |
          |                |      |Gordon, Holden,      |                     |
          |                |      |Quirk, Rendon,       |                     |
          |                |      |Weber, Wood          |                     |
          |                |      |                     |                     |
          |                |      |                     |                     |
           ------------------------------------------------------------------- 


          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  








                                                                       AB 959


                                                                      Page  2





          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.


          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  








                                                                       AB 959


                                                                      Page  3





          federal law, except for personal identifying information, which  
          shall be deemed confidential (Government Code Section 8310.5)


          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, minor costs to four state agencies to update forms and  
          information collection procedures.


          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.


          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  








                                                                       AB 959


                                                                      Page  4





          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.




          Analysis Prepared by:                                               
                          William Herms / A. & A.R. / (916) 319-3600  FN:  
          0000536