California Expands State-Funded Travel Ban Over New Trans Laws

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California has expanded its state-funded travel ban to include Missouri, Nebraska and Wyoming over those states' new laws which restrict transgender students from participating in school sports that align with their identity. 

Addition of the states to the travel ban under California Assembly Bill 1887 would prohibit California public universities from using state funds to travel to the three states. 

"These new laws enacted by Missouri, Nebraska, and Wyoming aren’t just discriminatory, they constitute a clear case of government overreach — and it's an alarming trend we're witnessing across the country,” said attorney general Bonta in a statement. “By preventing transgender individuals from participating in sports aligned with their gender identity, or by denying them access to critical healthcare, these legislative actions directly contradict the values of inclusivity and diversity. These laws pose significant risks for deepening the stigmatization and alienation of LGBTQ+ youth who are already subject to pervasive discrimination, bullying, and hate crimes. In the face of such a gross misuse of public resources, California firmly denounces these laws. As mandated by AB 1887, we are, thus, compelled to impose restrictions on state-funded travel to Missouri, Nebraska, and Wyoming in response to their discriminatory laws targeting the LGBTQ+ community."

AB 1887 reflects California's policy to avoid supporting or financing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender Americans. The law prohibits state agencies, departments, boards, or commissions from authorizing state-funded travel to a state that â€” after June 26, 2015 â€” has enacted a law authorizing, or repealing existing protections against, discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. California state agencies are responsible for consulting the AB 1887 list maintained by the California Department of Justice necessary to comply with the travel and funding restrictions imposed by the law.

Information regarding the reasons and timeline for each new state’s inclusion on the AB 1887 list is as follows: 

Missouri

Missouri is being added to California’s state-funded travel restrictions list as a result of Missouri’s new law, Senate Bill 39 (SB 39), signed into law on June 7, 2023, by Missouri Governor Michael Parson. The law prohibits public school districts, including charter schools, and public and private colleges and universities, from allowing transgender girls to compete in an athletic competition consistent with their gender identity. SB 39 requires withholding of all state funding for non-compliance. Missouri is also being added to the state-funded travel restricted list because, on June 7, 2023, Missouri Governor Michael Parson also signed SB 49 into law, restricting gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth. Missouri will be added to the travel restricted list when these new laws become effective on August 28, 2023. 

Nebraska

Nebraska is being added to California’s state-funded travel restricted list as a result of Nebraska’s new law, Legislative Bill No. 574 (LB 574), “Let Them Grow Act,” which was signed into law on May 22, 2023, by Nebraska Governor Jim Pillen. LB 574 makes it a departure from the medical standard of care to provide gender-affirming care for someone who is 19 years old or younger except subject to rigorous criteria in regulations to be developed by the state’s Chief Medical Officer. It subjects healthcare practitioners to liability, including attorneys’ fees, for providing such care and denies state funding to any entity not in compliance. Nebraska will be added to California’s travel restricted list when the law becomes effective on October 1, 2023.

Wyoming

Wyoming is being added to California’s state-funded travel restricted list as a result of Wyoming’s new law, Senate File No. 133 (SF 133), which became law on March 17, 2023, without the Governor’s signature. The law prohibits public schools, and private schools competing against public schools, from allowing transgender female students to participate in athletics based on their gender identity. Under this law, if this prohibition is struck down by a court, SF 133 requires the Governor to convene an “activity eligibility commission” to create rules governing athletic eligibility for transgender students' athletic participation. This commission would be composed of appointees with no required experience in the need for gender-affirming care. The law permits any student or parent to enforce its provisions in an administrative action before the Wyoming Board of Education. Given the effective date for the new law in July of 2023, Wyoming will be immediately added to California’s travel restricted list as of July 14, 2023.

The following states are now subject to California’s ban on state-funded and state-sponsored travel:

  1. Alabama
  2. Arizona
  3. Arkansas
  4. Florida
  5. Georgia
  6. Idaho
  7. Indiana
  8. Iowa
  9. Kansas
  10. Kentucky
  11. Louisiana
  12. Mississippi
  13. Missouri (as of August 28, 2023)
  14. Montana
  15. Nebraska (as of October 1, 2023)
  16. North Carolina
  17. North Dakota
  18. Ohio
  19. Oklahoma
  20. South Carolina
  21. South Dakota
  22. Tennessee
  23. Texas
  24. Utah
  25. West Virginia
  26. Wyoming (as of July 14, 2023)

In rare instances, an exception to AB 1887 may be granted. Each exception is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 

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