BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION
                              Senator Isadore Hall, III
                                        Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:           AB 959           Hearing Date:    7/14/2015
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          |Author:    |Chiu                                                 |
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          |Version:   |7/7/2015    Amended                                  |
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          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:      |Yes             |
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          |Consultant:|Arthur Terzakis                                      |
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          SUBJECT: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Disparities  
          Reduction Act


            DIGEST:    This bill enacts the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and  
          Transgender  Disparities Reduction Act and requires four  
          specified state entities (the Department of Health Care  
          Services, the Department of Public Health, the Department of  
          Social Services, and the Department of Aging) to include the  
          collection of sexual orientation and gender identity data in the  
          course of their current demographic data collection efforts. 

          ANALYSIS:
          
          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.

          This bill:

          1)Requires the Department of Health Care Services, the  
            Department of Public Health, the Department of Social  
            Services, and the Department of Aging, in the course of  
            collecting demographic data directly or by contract as to the  







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            ancestry or ethnic origin of Californians, to collect  
            voluntary self-identification information pertaining to sexual  
            orientation and gender identity.

          2)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.


          3)Stipulates that the four state entities identified above may  
            use information voluntarily provided about sexual orientation  
            and gender identity only for demographic analysis,  
            coordination of care, quality improvement of services,  
            conducting approved research, fulfilling reporting  
            requirements, and guiding policy or funding decisions.

          4)Makes it explicit that all information about sexual  
            orientation and gender identity collected pursuant to this  
            bill must be used only for purposes specified in this Act. 

          5)Requires the four state entities identified above to comply  
            with the provisions of this Act as soon as possible, but no  
            later than July 1, 2017.


          6)Finds and declares that due to the sensitive general nature of  
            data relating to sexual orientation and gender identity and  
            the need to protect the safety of those who would provide  
            voluntary self-identification information pertaining to their  
            sexual orientation and gender identity, it is necessary to  
            prohibit the public disclosure of personal identifying  
            information that would allow the identification of an  
            individual who provided voluntary self-identification  
            information pertaining to sexual orientation and gender  
            identity.

          7)States legislative intent that the state departments  
            identified above utilize existing work and research,  
            including, but not limited to, referencing research on  
            promising and community-defined practices and stakeholders  
            when developing questions to collect voluntary self-identified  
            information pertaining to sexual orientation and gender  
            identity.









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          8)Contains various legislative findings and declarations  
            relative to the limited data available for Lesbian, Gay,  
            Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) communities and due to  
            historical systematic exclusion of data collection of LGBT  
            communities, significant disparities in their health and  
            welfare have been prolonged compared to the broader community.  
             Also, declares that it is in the best interests of the state  
            to respect, embrace, and understand the full diversity of its  
            residents and to collect accurate data to effectively  
            implement and deliver critical state services and programs.

          Background

          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.  

          Purpose of AB 959.  According to the author's office, this bill  
          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.   
          The author's office states, "Due to the systematic exclusion of  
          data collection of LGBT communities, significant disparities in  
          their health and welfare have been prolonged compared to the  
          broader community.  LGBT communities face disproportionately  
          high rates of poverty, suicide, homelessness, isolation,  
          substance abuse, and violence, and low rates of health  
          insurance.  These issues are more prevalent for youth and  
          seniors, communities of color, and transgender and undocumented  
          communities.  Collecting voluntary data on sexual orientation  
          and gender identity is a necessary first step to understand the  
          extent to which LGBT communities are experiencing disparities  
          and whether government programs are effectively reaching LBGT  
          individuals in need of care and assistance."

          Prior/Related Legislation
          
          AB 532 (McCarty, 2015) requires any state agency, board, or  








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          commission that collects demographic data to provide forms that  
          offer respondents the option of identifying as "multiracial" and  
          selecting one or more ethnic or racial designations.  (Pending  
          in Senate Appropriations Committee)

          AB 176 (Bonta, 2015) places certain requirements regarding the  
          collection of demographic data, by the state's public segments  
          of postsecondary education and by state health-related  
          departments, pertaining to tabulation categories of Native  
          Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific Islander groups.  (Pending in  
          Senate policy committee)

          SB 280 (Lieu, 2014) would have authorized, until January 1,  
          2015, the application form for insurance affordability program  
          coverage to include additional voluntary questions on sexual  
          orientation and gender identity or expression.  Also, would have  
          required, effective January 1, 2016, the application form to  
          include voluntary questions regarding demographic data  
          categories, including race, ethnicity, primary language,  
          disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or  
          expression and other categories recognized by the federal  
          Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.  (Died  
          on Senate Appropriations Suspense File)

          AB 1208 (Pan, 2013) contained similar provisions to SB 280  
          (Lieu, 2014).  (Vetoed by the Governor who stated, "the state  
          does not need to mandate these requirements in law as DHCS and  
          Covered California already have the authority to modify these  
          types of questions on the form, and they can work constructively  
          with stakeholders to decide what is necessary to change for 2015  
          and beyond.")

          SB 416 (Kehoe, 2011) would have required the statewide Health  
          Interview Survey and the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance  
          System to include specified information related to sexual  
          orientation or gender identity.  (Vetoed by the Governor who  
          stated, "what particular questions should be in these health  
          surveys is better handled by the current process, not the  
          Legislature or the Governor.") 

          AB 1088 (Eng, Chapter 689, Statutes of 2011) required certain  
          state agencies to collect and tabulate data for additional major  
          Asian groups, as listed, in order to better reflect the  
          diversity of Asian American, Hawaiian and Pacific Islander  
          communities in California. 








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          AB 1878 (Lieu, 2010) would have required all California agency  
          forms that ask for demographic information to include sexual  
          orientation or gender identity.  (Died on Assembly  
          Appropriations Suspense File)

          AB 1281 (Portantino, 2009) would have enacted the California  
          School Racial Equality Designation Act and required any state  
          agency, board, or commission that directly, or by contract,  
          collects demographic data on the race or ethnicity of pupils in  
          any elementary or secondary school to provide written  
          instructions for reporting racial information that specify that  
          multiracial pupils may select 2 or more racial categories.   
          (Vetoed - Governor's message stated the California Department of  
          Education has already put into place processes to update forms  
          and instructions to accommodate the inclusion of multiracial  
          students. Therefore, this bill is unnecessary.)

          SB 26 (Simitian, 2007) would have enacted the "Ethnic Heritage  
          Respect and Recognition Act of 2007" requiring any state entity  
          that collects demographic data on the ancestry, ethnic origin,  
          ethnicity, or race of Californians to provide forms that offer  
          respondents the option of selecting one or more ethnic or racial  
          designations.  (Died in Assembly Appropriations)

          SB 1615 (Simitian, 2006) would have enacted the "Ethnic Heritage  
          Respect and Recognition Act" to require any state agency, board,  
          or commission that directly or by contract collects demographic  
          data, as soon as reasonably feasible and in no event later than  
          January 1, 2014, to provide forms that offer respondents the  
          option of selecting one more ethnic or racial designation  
          according to specified federal standards.  (Died in Senate  
          Appropriations) 

          AB 2324 (Chan, 2004), among other things, would have required  
          each state program directly involved in furnishing information  
          to, or rendering services to, the public to collect data  
          regarding the race, ethnicity, and primary language of all  
          participants, on a voluntary basis.  (Died in Assembly  
          Appropriations)

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










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            SUPPORT:  

          AIDS Legal Referral Panel
          Alcohol Justice
          American Civil Liberties Union of California (ACLU) 
          American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees  
          (AFSCME)
          Anti-Defamation League
          Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center
          California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies
          California Immigrant Policy Center
          California LGBT Health and Human Services Network
          California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
          Compassionate Community Care
          Equality California
          Gay-Straight Alliance Network of California
          Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center
          LGBTQ Center of Long Beach
          Los Angeles LGBT Center
          Lutheran Social Services of Northern California
          Maitri AIDS Hospice
          Meals on Wheels of San Francisco
          Mental Health America of Northern California
          National Center for Lesbian Rights
          Native American Health Center
          NorCal Mental Health America
          Openhouse
          Our Family Coalition
          Queer LifeSpace
          Rafiki Coalition for Health and Wellness
          Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County
          Sacramento LGBT Community Center
          San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium
          San Francisco Democratic Party
          San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services
          San Francisco Drug Users Union
          San Francisco HIV/AIDS Provider Network
          San Francisco LGBT Community Center
          San Francisco Suicide Prevention's HIV/AIDS Nightline
          Shanti Project
          SteppingStone Adult Day Health
          Trevor Project
          UC San Francisco Center of Excellence for Transgender Health
          UC San Francisco LGBT Resource Center
          Westside Community Services AIDS Case Management & Home Care  








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          Program

          OPPOSITION:

          None received