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Civil Rights Legislation in California

1999-2000 Legislation - Pending Legislation

SB 44 (Polanco)
This bill would clarify that government agencies may engage in public sector outreach programs, including focused outreach and recruitment of minority groups and women. The measure was vetoed on July 28, 1999.

SB 66 (Murray)
This bill would require the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to include instruction on racial and cultural diversity.

SB 78 (Murray)
This bill, passed by the Legislature (9/10/99), would require the California Highway Patrol to prepare an annual report for four years, beginning July 1, 2000, on motorist stops. The report specifies data to be collected, including the number of motorists stopped for all traffic enforcement purposes and based on visual observation the race or ethnicity of the individual stopped. Local law enforcement in eight counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Clara, San Diego and San Francisco) is required to provide annual data for the report in 2002 and 2003. City and county law enforcement agencies in other jurisdictions must provide data for the report in 2003 and 2004.

SB 80 (Hayden)
This bill, passed by the Legislature (9/10/99), would establish the California Commission on Combating Hate Crime Groups and the Attorney General's Commission on Hate Crime Prevention and Prosecution. Each commission would receive $100,000 to study and report on specific aspects of hate violence and prevention.

SB 513 (Alarcon)
This bill would remove the current $50,000 combined limit on actual damages and administrative fines that may be awarded by the Fair Employment and Housing Commission.

SB 846 (Escutia)
This bill would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to lead an effort to review compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act with specific steps to be taken. The bill also directs the Department of Rehabilitation to review its order of selection process to ensure continuity of services and prevent suspending services to new applicants.

SB 850 (Hayden)
Existing law makes it a misdemeanor to willfully injure, intimidate, interfere with, oppress or threaten any other person in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege under law on the basis of the person's race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, gender, or sexual orientation, or because he or she perceives that the other person has one or more of those characteristics. This bill would also make it a crime to willfully injure, intimidate, interfere with, oppress or threaten any other person because the person associates with someone who has one or more of those characteristics.

SB 1098 (Burton)
This bill, passed by the Legislature (9/7/99) would enact various changes to the landlord-tenant law regarding rental applications and amends state rent control law concerning vacancies created by a landlord's refusal to accept Section 8 housing payments, and protects tenant advisors.

SB 1148 (Burton)
This bill, passed by the Legislature (9/8/99) would bar declarations pertaining to a common interest development from containing restrictive covenant that discriminates in housing based on race, color, religion, sex, familial status, marital status, disability, national origin or ancestry.

SB 1185 (Johnston)
This bill, enacted as Chapter 311, Stats. 1999, would clarify the definition of "genetic characteristic" for purposes of the laws prohibiting discrimination based on a medical condition to refer to the propensity of a person to develop a disease or disorder because of a gene or chromosome, and not those persons who are currently ill.

AJR 26 (Honda)
This resolution, passed by the Legislature (8/26/99) urges the federal government to fully investigate all allegations of security breaches at national weapons laboratories and all retaliatory actions and discrimination against Asian Pacific Americans at those facilities. The resolution asks the President, Congress and every American to avoid sweeping all Asian Pacific Americans into false characterizations and stereotypes.

AB 208 (Knox)
This bill, passed by the Legislature (9/7/99), would provide for the penalty of life without parole for the intentional first-degree murder of a person because of their actual or perceived disability, gender or sexual orientation.

AB 222 (Kuehl)
This bill would prohibit discrimination and harassment against gay and lesbian students and those students perceived to be gay or lesbian. The measure also would add sexual orientation to the basis on which discrimination is prohibited relating to employment and advancement of teachers and classified school employees, school district residency requirements, specified postsecondary financial aid programs, employers in work-study programs and the operation of alternative schools, charter schools or interscholastic athletics.

AB 407 (Cedillo)
This bill, passed by the Legislature (9/9/99) would declare that the existing Unruh Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination based upon immigration status and adds immigration status to the list of expressly protected categories under the Unruh Act and the hate crime provisions in the Civil Code.

AB 537 (Kuehl, Hertzberg and Villaraigosa)
This bill, passed by the Legislature (9/10/99) would provide that it is the policy of the State of California to afford all persons in public school and postsecondary institutions equal rights and opportunities, regardless of their sexual orientation. The bill also would prohibit discrimination against a person on the basis of sexual orientation in any program or activity conducted by any educational institution or postsecondary institution that receives or benefits from state financial assistance or enrolls students who receive state student financial aid.

AB 633 (Steinberg)
This bill, passed by the Legislature (9/10/99), would make changes in the enforcement of wage and hour requirements for garment workers, including extending the time for filing a complaint. The bill also would prohibit discharge or discrimination against an employee who makes a complaint to the employer's representative or for cooperating with any federal or state enforcement agencies or private firms conducting audits.

AB 741 (Pacheco, Hertzberg, Steinberg and Sen. McPherson)
This bill would appropriate $5 million for grants to counties to support the prosecution of hate crimes. The grants would be issued by the Office of Criminal Justice Safety and require a report to the Legislature by January 1, 2002.

AB 1001 (Villaraigosa)
This bill, passed by the Legislature (9/10/99) would move the provisions prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation from the Labor code to the Fair Employment and Housing Act, and codify case law which prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

AB 1652 (Committee on Labor and Employment: Steinberg, chair)
This bill, passed by the Legislature (9/10/99) would require the Labor Commissioner to develop a notice containing a clear explanation of each type of discrimination prohibited by the Labor Code and the legal remedy provided in law for such discrimination.

AB 1670 (Committee on Judiciary: Kuehl, chair)
This omnibus bill, passed by the Legislature (9/9/99), would make several changes to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and Civil Code relating to employment and housing discrimination. Key provisions would increase the amount of damages and administrative fines that may be awarded by the Fair Employment and Housing Commission; extend harassment protections under FEHA to contract workers; require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers; clarify that protections against housing and employment discrimination cover discrimination based on a victim's perceived membership in a protected class; and expand the class of employers subject to FEHA's prohibition against discrimination on the basis of mental disability from those with 15 or more employees to those with 5 or more employees.

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