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HR-39 (2021-2022)

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Revised  July 05, 2021


House Resolution
No. 39

Introduced by Assembly Member Gipson
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Cristina Garcia, Nazarian, Luz Rivas, and Stone) Stone, Aguiar-Curry, Arambula, Bauer-Kahan, Bennett, Berman, Bloom, Boerner Horvath, Bryan, Burke, Calderon, Carrillo, Cervantes, Chau, Chen, Chiu, Choi, Cooley, Cooper, Cunningham, Daly, Flora, Frazier, Friedman, Gabriel, Lorena Gonzalez, Gray, Grayson, Holden, Irwin, Jones-Sawyer, Kalra, Lackey, Lee, Levine, Low, Maienschein, Mathis, Mayes, McCarty, Medina, Mullin, Muratsuchi, Petrie-Norris, Quirk, Quirk-Silva, Ramos, Rendon, Reyes, Robert Rivas, Rodriguez, Blanca Rubio, Salas, Santiago, Ting, Villapudua, Voepel, Waldron, Ward, Akilah Weber, Wicks, and Wood)

April 22, 2021

Relative to equity impact analysis of legislation.


HR 39, as introduced, Gipson.

WHEREAS, It is the intent of the Legislature to support the state’s health equity and economic recovery priorities by directing employees in the legislative branch to use tools to assess the equity impact of bills and include information about the potential harms and benefits of proposed legislation for vulnerable communities in committee and floor analyses, thereby reducing the unintended negative consequences of bills and preventing health and economic disparities; and
WHEREAS, The COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 500,000 Americans; and
WHEREAS, COVID-19 data collected by the State Department of Public Health highlights racial and ethnic disparities and demonstrates that Latinos, African Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders are unjustly dying from COVID-19 at disproportionately higher levels; and
WHEREAS, Data collected by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics highlights gender disparities and demonstrates that in December 2020 women accounted for 100 percent of job losses; and
WHEREAS, The Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery found that COVID-19 unemployment rates are greatest in sectors that employ a greater number of workers of color with low wages, including, for example, hospitality, food service, retail, and construction; and
WHEREAS, The Senate introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 92 of the 2019–20 Regular Session, which declared racism a public health crisis; and
WHEREAS, The Legislature voted to pass Assembly Constitutional Amendment 5 of the 2019–20 Regular Session (Chapter 23 of the Statutes of 2020), affirming the state’s commitment to race and equity; and
WHEREAS, The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to a projected $54.3 billion State General Fund deficit for the 2020–21 state budget that necessitated prioritization, cost shifts, and reduced spending; and
WHEREAS, Section 11135 of the Government Code states that no person in the State of California shall, on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, ethnic group identification, age, mental disability, physical disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation, be unlawfully denied full and equal access to the benefits of, or be unlawfully subjected to discrimination under, any program or activity that is conducted, operated, or administered by the state or by any state agency, is funded directly by the state, or receives any financial assistance from the state; and
WHEREAS, Section 131019.5 of the Health and Safety Code provides for the creation of the State Department of Public Health’s Office of Health Equity and provides the following definitions:
(1) “Determinants of equity” means social, economic, geographic, political, and physical environmental conditions that lead to the creation of a fair and just society.
(2) “Health equity” means efforts to ensure that all people have full and equal access to opportunities that enable them to lead healthy lives.
(3) “Health and mental health disparities” means differences in health and mental health status among distinct segments of the population, including differences that occur by gender, age, race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, education or income, disability or functional impairment, or geographic location, or the combination of any of these factors.
(4) “Health and mental health inequities” means disparities in health or mental health, or the factors that shape health, that are systemic and avoidable and, therefore, considered unjust or unfair.
(5) “Vulnerable communities” include, but are not limited to, women, racial or ethnic groups, low-income individuals and families, individuals who are incarcerated and those who have been incarcerated, individuals with disabilities, individuals with mental health conditions, children, youth and young adults, seniors, immigrants and refugees, individuals who are limited-English proficient (LEP), and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQQ) communities, or combinations of these populations.
(6) “Vulnerable places” means places or communities with inequities in the social, economic, educational, or physical environment or environmental health and that have insufficient resources or capacity to protect and promote the health and well-being of their residents; and
WHEREAS, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, New Jersey, and Oregon have implemented measures to implement racial impact statements as a tool to assess the potential disparities and impact of a policy before it is passed; and
WHEREAS, Seattle, Washington, passed a resolution affirming the city’s race and social justice work and directing city departments to use available tools to assist in the elimination of racial and social disparities; and
WHEREAS, Takoma Park, Maryland, passed a resolution recognizing the need to examine seemingly neutral policies and practices to determine whether they are contributing to racial inequality and where change is needed to eliminate the policy or practice; and
WHEREAS, President Joseph R. Biden Jr., through the Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, ordered the identification of methods to assess equity by requiring the Director of the federal Office of Management and Budget to do all of the following:
(a) In partnership with the heads of federal agencies, study methods for assessing whether federal agency policies and actions create or exacerbate barriers to full and equal participation by all eligible individuals. The study should aim to identify the best methods, consistent with applicable law, to assist federal agencies in assessing equity with respect to race, ethnicity, religion, income, geography, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability.
(b) As part of that study, consider whether to recommend that federal agencies employ pilot programs to test model assessment tools and assist federal agencies in doing so.
(c) Within 6 months of the date of the executive order, deliver a report to the President describing the best practices identified by the study and, as appropriate, recommending approaches to expand use of those methods across the federal government; and
WHEREAS, President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has, through the Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government, ordered the head of each federal agency to select certain of the agency’s programs and policies for a review that will assess whether underserved communities and their members face systemic barriers in accessing benefits and opportunities available pursuant to those policies and programs. The order requires the head of each federal agency to conduct that review and within 200 days of the date of the order provide a report to the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy reflecting findings on the following:
(a) Potential barriers that underserved communities and individuals may face to enrollment in and access to benefits and services in federal programs.
(b) Potential barriers that underserved communities and individuals may face in taking advantage of federal agency procurement and contracting opportunities.
(c) Whether new policies, regulations, or guidance documents may be necessary to advance equity in federal agency actions and programs.
(d) The operational status and level of institutional resources available to offices or divisions within the federal agency that are responsible for advancing civil rights or whose mandates specifically include serving underrepresented or disadvantaged communities; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, That in order to continue the Assembly’s commitment to investing in equity solutions and maximizing benefits for underserved and marginalized communities, the Assembly will explore methods to integrate equity more formally into its daily activities, including the potential adoption of equity impact analysis into the existing committee and floor bill analysis process; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.

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