- September 30, 2014
Post submitted by Meg Tsuda, HRC Workplace Equality Program Assistant
Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a historic bill that would expand opportunities for LGBT business owners.
Assembly Bill 1678 is the first law in the nation that would require the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to extend existing provisions to certified LGBT-owned business enterprises. These provisions were already granted to ethnic minority, women, and disabled veteran-owned businesses.
The impact of this bill is significant, as the PUC has authority over public utilities in the state, encompassing electrical, gas, water, telephone corporations and wireless telecommunications service providers with annual gross revenues over $25,000,000.
This progressive leap forward was made possible by the tireless efforts of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), along with the support of many organizations, including HRC, Lambda Legal, the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund. HRC applauds the California Assembly and State Senate for stepping ahead of the curve to enact this bill and as a result, setting a precedent for the rest of the country. HRC looks forward to the opportunities ahead, as the signed law takes effect on January 1 of next year.