SACRAMENTO — A bill that would halt discriminatory California laws that criminal HIV sits in the Assembly awaiting a vote.
The Assembly hasn’t yet scheduled a hearing date for SB 239, but has until September 15 to pass the bill in this legislative session. If the Assembly passes the bill, it then goes to Gov. Jerry Brown, who has until October 15 to sign or veto the bill.
The Senate passed SB 239 by a 26-12 vote on May 31.
Between 1988 and 2014, at least 800 people were arrested, charged or otherwise came into contact with the criminal justice system related to their HIV status, according to a study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law. Almost 400 people were convicted.
The study also found HIV criminalization laws disproportionately impacted women and people of color.
S.B. 239 , authored by State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) is co-sponsored by ACLU of California, APLA Health, Black AIDS Institute, Equality California, Lambda Legal and Positive Women’s Network – USA.
In addition, it is supported by Californians for HIV Criminalization Reform, a broad coalition of people living with HIV, HIV and health service providers, civil rights organizations and public health professionals