SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--California Assembly Bill 1576, a landmark bill that would have clarified and strengthened state worker safety laws requiring condoms in all adult films made statewide in California, did not clear the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier today and as a result, will not move on for consideration by the full Senate this year. Assemblymember Isadore Hall, III (D-Los Angeles) representing California’s 64th Assembly District, authored the bill, which he introduced in mid-February. AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the primary sponsor of the bill, vowed to carry on in its push for worker safety in the adult film industry, stating it will reintroduce the bill next year.
“Regardless of whether AB 1576 became law this year, condom use already is—and has been—the law in California under existing Cal/OSHA authority. The porn industry has simply chosen to ignore these laws, with few, if any, repercussions to date for producers,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “As for AB 1576: We will reintroduce the bill next year and are proud of the fact that we moved this legislation farther along in this session than any previous year. By way of comparison, it took over a decade to get a needle exchange bill passed on a statewide level, so we are prepared for a long haul, if that’s what it takes.”
At the same time AB 1576 was working its way through the legislative process in Sacramento this year, Cal/OSHA (California’s Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health), the state’s workplace health and safety regulatory and watchdog organization, has been overhauling and expanding the portion of the Bloodborne Pathogens regulations covering the adult film industry. When enacted later this fall, these updated OSHA regulations could, in fact, make the need for a bill like AB 1576 moot.
“AB 1576 would have given clear direction to Cal/OSHA to settle definitions surrounding worker safety measures on adult film set workplaces throughout California,” said Whitney Engeran-Cordova, Senior Director of Public Health for AHF. “This remains good public policy, it’s common sense and it’s clear that the public gets it even if the Senate Appropriations Committee does not. Assemblymember Hall is a passionate advocate for workers and we commended him for his courage.”
Two other bills sponsored by AHF moved forward in Sacramento today. AB 336, by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, which would make it more difficult for law enforcement to use condoms as evidence of prostitution; and AB 966 by Assemblymember Rob Bonta, which would require the State Department of Corrections to develop a plan to provide condoms in all state prisons, will move on for consideration by the full Senate.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the sponsor of Hall’s legislation, successfully spearheaded Ballot Measure B, the ‘County of Los Angeles Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act,’ more informally known as the ‘condoms in porn’ measure, which Los Angeles County voters approved by a 57% to 43% margin in the November 2012 election. Measure B requires producers of adult films to obtain a public health permit from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and pay a permit fee sufficient for necessary enforcement and follow all health and safety laws, including condom use by performers. AB 1576 will expand upon the workplace protections now required in Los Angeles County to protect all adult film actors throughout the state of California.
Hall’s legislation would have provided statewide uniformity needed to ensure that the thousands of actors employed in this multi-billion dollar industry are given reasonable workplace safety protections needed to reduce exposure to HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
About AIDS Healthcare Foundation
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 322,000 individuals in 34 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare.