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  1. AB 5

    Version: Introduced
    Author: Ammiano



    INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Ammiano

    DECEMBER 3, 2012

    An act to amend Sections 51 and 54 of, and to add Part 2.2 (commencing with Section 53.1) to Division 1 of, the Civil Code, to amend Section 32228 of the Education Code, to amend Section 354.5 of the Elections Code, to amend Sections 11135, 12920, 12921, 12926, 12926.1, 12930, 12931, 12940, 12944, 12955, 12955.8, 12956.1, 12956.2, and 12993 of the Government Code, to amend Section 868.8 of the Penal Code, and to amend Section 4900 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to homelessness.


    AB 5, as introduced, Ammiano. Homelessness.

    Existing law, the Unruh Civil Rights Act, provides that all persons within the state are free and equal, regardless of their sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation, and are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments of every kind whatsoever. Existing law provides that no person in the state shall, on the basis of race, national origin, ethnic group identification, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, color, genetic information, or disability, 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. Existing law, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), provides that the opportunity to seek, obtain, and hold employment without discrimination because of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, or sexual orientation is recognized to be a civil right, and makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against those persons with regard to certain employment practices. Under FEHA, existing law makes it unlawful for the owner of any housing accommodation to discriminate against or harass any person because of the race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income, disability, or genetic information of that person. Under FEHA, existing law imposes duties upon county counsels and county recorders with regard to unlawfully restrictive covenants and Restrictive Covenant Modifications, as specified.

    This bill would enact the Homeless Person’s Bill of Rights and Fairness Act, which would provide that no person’s rights, privileges, or access to public services may be denied or abridged because he or she is homeless, has a low income, or suffers from a mental illness or physical disability. The bill would provide that every person in the state, regardless of actual or perceived housing status, income level, mental illness, or physical disability, shall be free from specified forms of discrimination and shall be entitled to certain basic human rights, including the right to be free from discrimination by law enforcement, in the workplace, while seeking or maintaining housing or shelter, and while seeking services. The bill would provide that every person has the right to access public property, possess personal property, access public restrooms, clean water, affordable housing, educational supplies, as specified, emergency and nonemergency health care, confidentiality of medical records, assistance of legal counsel in specified proceedings, and restitution, under specified circumstances. The bill would provide civil and criminal immunity, and immunity from employer retaliation, to a public employee who provides assistance to a homeless person. The bill would require local law enforcement agencies to make specified information available to the public and report to the Attorney General on an annual basis with regard to enforcement of local ordinances against homeless persons and compliance with the act, as specified, thereby imposing a state-mandated local program. The bill would provide for judicial relief and impose civil penalties for a violation of the act.

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