HR 39 encourages lawmakers to adopt equity analysis for legislation

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(SACRAMENTO, CA, July 5, 2021)– Today, HR. 39, a house resolution authored by Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson), and sponsored by The Greenlining Institute, passed the Assembly floor with 55 co-authors. H.R. 39 encourages lawmakers to incorporate an equity impact analysis into the existing committee and floor bill analysis processes, which currently covers fiscal impact and related legislation. 

“My hope is that when we take a closer look at legislation through an equity lens, it ensures that our constituents have equal access to services such as quality health care, financial aid for higher education, and homeownership,” said Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson. “Putting equity at the forefront of our work will help identify any gaps in our decision making process as we introduce or vote on pieces of legislation.” 

H.R. 39 will include the critical and necessary data points about the impact of proposed legislation for vulnerable communities. 

“We applaud the Assembly for making this commitment. As California moves to restart our economy and build a just recovery from the pandemic, it’s more important than ever that we look closely at the impact of any proposed legislation on people of color, low-income Californians, and others whose concerns have too-often been neglected,” said Debra Gore-Mann, President and CEO of The Greenlining Institute, which sponsored the legislation. “California has the opportunity to be a leader in making equity real and ensure we don’t repeat the past mistakes of intended and unintended consequences.”

COVID-19 is exacerbating the well-documented health and economic inequities that low-income people and people of color are experiencing, including persistent economic hardship, high rates of unemployment, preventable negative health outcomes, housing insecurity, community trauma, among other issues. Elected officials need more information about the equity impact of bills in order to make informed decisions and prevent unintended consequences of legislation that widen disparities.

“California has the opportunity to be a leader in operationalizing equity, not just talking about equity, and we are one step closer to that vision with the passage of H.R. 39,” said Kelsey Lyles, Senior Program Manager of Transformative Racial Equity at The Greenlining Institute. “We look forward to working with the Legislature to adopt equity analysis tools and relevant data sources in order to prioritize bills that reduce racial wealth and health gaps.”  

Earlier this year, President Biden issued an executive order requiring all federal departments and agencies to “recognize and work to redress inequities in their policies and programs that serve as barriers to equal opportunity.” Five states — Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Oregon, and New Jersey — have adopted and implemented policies requiring racial equity impact statements for certain types of proposals.

“I am pleased with the equity measure H.R. 39 being introduced by Assemblymember Mike Gipson and myriad of joining Assemblymembers,” said Wayne Ford, former Iowa State Representative who is the author of the nation’s first minority impact statement. “This is a monumental step towards greater racial and minority consideration within the legislative process here in the great State of California.”

The Greenlining Institute and stakeholders can now work with Capitol staff to support the implementation of the equity analysis. 

 

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THE GREENLINING INSTITUTE works toward a future when communities of color can build wealth, live in healthy places filled with economic opportunity, and are ready to meet the challenges posed by climate change.

www.greenlining.org

@Greenlining

ASSEMBLYMEMBER MIKE A. GIPSON proudly represents the 64th Assembly District. The district includes the cities and communities of Carson, Compton, Gardena, Harbor Gateway, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, South Los Angeles, Torrance, Watts/Willowbrook, and Wilmington.