Bill Text: CA AB412 | 2021-2022 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: California Commission on Human Rights.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-02-12 - Referred to Com. on A. & A.R. [AB412 Detail]

Download: California-2021-AB412-Introduced.html


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 412


Introduced by Assembly Member Reyes

February 03, 2021


An act to add Chapter 3.4 (commencing with Section 8270) to Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code, relating to state government.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 412, as introduced, Reyes. California Commission on Human Rights.
The California Constitution prohibits the state, including any political subdivision or government instrumentality of or within the state, from discriminating against, or granting preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.
Existing law establishes in state government various commissions and committees, including, among others, the California Commission on Disability Access, the Healthy California for All Commission, the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, and the Committee on Revision of the Penal Code to study and recommend reforms on certain topics, including issues related to equality and justice.
This bill would establish in state government, the California Commission on Human Rights, as an advisory commission, and would require it to, among other things identify and evaluate California’s successes and failures in protecting human rights of individuals living within the state, determine statutory, regulatory, or budgetary solutions to better protect human rights, and report, at least annually, on the status of human rights to the Legislature and the Governor with statutory and regulatory recommendations. The bill would require the commission to consist of 17 members, including, among others, members of the Assembly and the Senate. The bill would also create the California Commission on Human Rights Fund in the General Fund to, upon appropriation by the Legislature, carry out these provisions and support the commission. The bill would make related findings and declarations.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 3.4 (commencing with Section 8270) is added to Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read:
CHAPTER  3.4. California Commission on Human Rights

8270.
 The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(a) The defense of human rights is crucial in promoting equity and equality amongst all Californians, but namely populations who have historically had their human and civil rights violated.
(b) Prejudice and discrimination on the bases of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, place of birth, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, domestic partner status, marital status, disability status, HIV status, weight, height, or socio-economic class infringes on the unalienable human rights of all people.
(c) The creation of the California Commission on Human Rights will allow for the adequate exploration and identification of ways in which the State of California can promote the protection of human rights so that residents of California have equal economic, political, and educational opportunity without prejudice or discrimination.

8271.
 (a) There is in the state government the California Commission on Human Rights. The commission shall consist of 17 members to be appointed as follows:
(1) Three Members of the Senate and one public member appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules.
(2) Three Members of the Assembly and one public member appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly.
(3) One public member appointed by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
(4) One public member appointed by the Attorney General.
(5) Seven public members appointed by the Governor with the consent of the Senate.
(b) The members of the Legislature shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing powers.
(c) Public member appointees of the Speaker of the Assembly and the Senate Committee on Rules, and appointees of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Attorney General, and the Governor, shall serve four-year terms.

8272.
 The commission shall have the powers and authority necessary to carry out the duties imposed upon it by this chapter, including, but not limited to, the following:
(a) To employ administrative, technical, and other personnel as may be necessary to perform its powers and duties.
(b) To hold informational hearings, make, and sign agreements, and to do or perform any acts that may be necessary, desirable, or proper to carry out the purpose of this chapter.
(c) To cooperate with, and secure the cooperation of, any department, division, board, bureau, commission, or other agency of the state to facilitate it properly to carry out its powers and duties hereunder.
(d) To appoint advisers or advisory committees from time to time when the commission determines that the experience or expertise of advisers or advisory committees is needed for specific projects of the commission.
(e) To find and accept funding sources outside of the state General Fund to assist with the projects of the commission, including, but not limited to, doing any of the following:
(1) Accepting any federal funds granted, by act of Congress or by executive order, for the purposes of this chapter.
(2) Locating and applying for federal grant programs.
(3) Accepting any gifts, donations, grants, or bequests for the purposes of this chapter, and to conduct fund-raising activities that may require a payment or purchase to attend.

8273.
 The commission shall do all of the following:
(a) Identify and evaluate California’s successes and failures in protecting human rights of all individuals living within the state, including, but not limited to:
(1) California’s sanctuary state policies and the status of the protection of rights of refugees, asylum seekers, and undocumented Californians.
(2) The relationship between local government entities and agencies and marginalized communities, including the impact of local government entities’ and agencies’ actions and policies on the civil liberties of those marginalized communities.
(3) The status of labor protections for marginalized populations throughout California’s workforce, including California’s migrant labor population.
(4) The status of marginalized populations’ access to educational opportunities and the protection of human rights and civil liberties across California’s education system, from early childhood to higher education.
(b) Determine statutory, regulatory, or budgetary solutions to better protect human rights across California, giving primary consideration to historically, and currently, marginalized populations.
(c) Report, at least annually, on the status of human rights to the Legislature and the Governor’s Office, with statutory and regulatory recommendations for the Legislature to adopt.
(d) Develop specific projects, reports, campaigns, and recommendations as concerns that violate human rights arise.
(e) Provide technical assistance to members of the Legislature, the Governor’s Office, and state agencies.

8274.
 With respect to its duties in this chapter, the commission shall be an advisory commission only, and there shall be no right or obligation on the part of the state, or the parties meeting and conferring, to implement the findings of the commission without at least one of the following:
(a) Further legislation subject to enactment that specifically authorizes that evaluations, determinations, and findings of the commission be implemented.
(b) Regulations adopted by, and pursuant to the authority of, a state agency that specifically pull from the evaluations, determinations, and findings of the commission for implementation.
(c) An Executive Order that specifically requires and authorizes the implementation of the evaluations, determinations, and findings of the commission.

8275.
 For purposes of this chapter, human rights are defined, enumerated, or set forth by, but not limited to, each of the following:
(a) The California Constitution.
(b) The United States Constitution.
(c) The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
(d) Other critical human rights documents that the commission sees fit.

8276.
 (a) The California Commission on Human Rights Fund is hereby created in the General Fund to carry out this chapter and to support the commission, upon appropriation by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act.
(b) Subject to the approval of the Department of Finance, all moneys collected or received by the commission from gifts, bequests, donations, or grant funds shall be deposited into the California Commission on Human Rights Fund, in accordance with the terms of the gift or donation from which the moneys derive and in accordance with Sections 8647, 11005, 11005.1, and 16302 of the Government Code.
(c) The fund shall also be used to increase access to commission meetings, projects, and deliberations by community organizations and impacted members of the public in the form of travel reimbursement, contracted partnerships or grant programs, or in other ways the commission deems appropriate.

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