Governor Gray Davis - Digital Library
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Opportunity for all Californians: Women & Families

Governor Davis understands that nearly every issue is a "women's issue." California's women are not a special interest group. They represent universal interests in our community - and are a vital part of our economy.

Governor Davis has been a leader in the fight for equal rights, equal pay, and equal access to health care, education, and political representation.

The Governor has:
• Authorized the court to deny spousal support to anyone who has committed repeated acts of domestic violence.
• Overhauled California's troubled child support enforcement program in 1999. Collections now total more than $2.3 billion annually, and more than two million children are served each year.
• Required the Commission on the Status of Women to evaluate civil service compensation and classification plans for wage disparities.
• Encouraged state and local governments to contract with women-owned small businesses.
• Protected the workplace rights of breast-feeding mothers.
• Banned discrimination for services like haircuts or dry-cleaning.
• Significantly increased funding for child care services and signed a historic Child Care Tax Credit.

Family Leave
The Governor signed legislation that makes California the first state and only state in the nation to extend disability compensation to cover individuals who take time off of work to care for a new child or to care for a sick or injured family member.

Women's Health
The Governor established a first-of-its-kind Breast Cancer Treatment Program for low-income, uninsured individuals. And, the Governor's historic HMO reforms include mandatory coverage for contraceptives, as well as breast cancer screening and diagnosis.

Domestic Violence
In 2002, California became the first state in the nation to re-enact the Violence Against Women Act, which was deemed unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. It allows the victims of domestic violence to hold their attacker liable in civil court.

In August 2003, California was selected by the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women to receive $544,242 to launch a program aimed at curbing domestic violence in California's rural communities.

A Woman's Right to Choose
Governor Gray Davis is 100% Pro-Choice. He wants every child to be a wanted child, raised in strong, loving family. He signed the Reproductive Privacy Act of 2002, guaranteeing that California women will have the right to an abortion regardless of the Supreme Court's decision on Roe versus Wade.

He has also:
• Protected doctors, clinic workers and their clients from violent protests.
• Strengthened family planning services.
• Made significant investments in reducing teen pregnancy.
• Required medical residency programs to provide abortion training.
• Provided emergency contraception for victims of sexual assault.
• Gave pharmacists the ability to initiate emergency contraception. CA is only the second state in America to enact such a law.

Governor Gray Davis and First Lady Sharon Davis recognize the difference a positive adult role model can make in the life of a child.

• The Governor has invested more than $85 million in funding for mentoring programs since 1999.
• The Governor's Mentoring Partnership has established a solid core of more than 400 mentoring programs and built 32 mentor coalitions across the state.
• The First Lady has made increasing public involvement in this program one of her top priorities.

Governor Davis signed legislation that guarantees equality in sports for California women if federal laws on the issue of Title IX are amended or repealed.

Sexual Harassment
Governor Gray Davis signed legislation that provides greater protections for women in sexual harassment cases that have occurred in a place of business.
• AB 76 (2003) by Assemblymember Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro) holds an employer responsible for not protecting their employees when the employer knows or has reason to know that an employee is a victim of harassment. If the employer does not take corrective action to keep the employee safe, there will be legal consequences.

Gov. Davis has previously signed legislation regarding sexual harassment:
• AB 1670 by Assemblymember Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica), Chaptered in 1999, is the California Civil Rights Amendments of 1999. The bill gives women, disabled workers, and others greater protection against discrimination; it extends anti-discrimination laws to applicants for employment and job training and it prohibits discrimination against employees and applicants based on lawful conduct outside of employment.
• AB 1856 by Assemblymember Sheila Kuehl (D-Santa Monica), Chaptered in 2000, expressly provides that employees of any entity covered under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act may be personally liable for prohibited harassment perpetrated by a co-employee.
• AB 519 Assemblymember Dion Aroner (D-Berekley), Chaptered in 1999, strengthened the definition of sexual harassment to include physical contact.