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Political Notebook: CA LGBTQ bills survive house of origin votes

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Eleven bills related to LGBTQ rights survived votes in their house of origin this month in the California Legislature. They run the gamut from bolstering health care services for LGBTQ individuals to protections for LGBTQ youth.One bill, however, failed to advance out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee by the deadline to do so last week.

Assembly Bill 2029 by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) would have required health insurance policies, including those religiously affiliated, to cover infertility treatment and fertility services for LGBTQ and straight policy holders.According to an analysis of the bill for state legislators, the cost solely to state-run insurance programs was estimated to total between $224 million and $235 million annually.

It also estimated that individual plans purchased through Covered California would see premiums increase by $185 million."Paying out of pocket for infertility treatment can impose an insurmountable financial burden on LGBTQ+ people who wish to become parents, and that needs to change — California must catch up with the 13 other states who have already passed infertility insurance laws," Wicks told the Bay Area Reporter. "Though I am deeply disappointed that AB 2029 will not move forward this year, I remain committed to continuing the work to ensure that every Californian is able to start a family if and when they choose to."Nine LGBTQ-related bills did advance out of the Assembly and are now before the state Senate.

Assembly Bill 2194, authored by gay Assemblymember Chris Ward (D-San Diego), would require pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to undergo at least one hour of culturally competent training about the concerns of LGBT+ patients before receiving a license.

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