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SB 1131 – Enacts Confidentiality Protection Provisions For Public Employees And Contractors At Risk Of Violence Or Harassment From The Public
In 1998, the Legislature established the “Safe at Home” program to allow victims of domestic violence to apply for a substitute address to be used in public records in order to prevent potential assailants from finding their work or home address. Subsequent legislation expanded this program to include victims of sexual assault and stalking, as well as reproductive health care service providers, employees, volunteers, and patients. The program is administered by the Office of the Secretary of State and includes provisions allowing individuals to seek confidential voter status and have their home address, phone number, and email address declared confidential.
SB 1131 extends this program in several ways. Most notably, the program will now cover any employees or contractors of public entities who face harassment, violence, or threats of violence from the public due because of their work for a public entity. As examples, the bill lists public health officers and public health workers, election workers, school board members, and code enforcement officers; however, the revised provisions are not limited to these positions.
The bill additionally provides that reproductive health care providers, employees, volunteers, and patients can seek protection based on harassment, rather than only acts or threats of violence.
The bill also contains specific provisions intended to protect county election officials. Where current law requires the elections official in each county to post, at least a week before an election, a list of polling places in each precinct and a list of precinct board members, SB 1131 requires only a list of the party affiliation of each precinct board member and prohibits including the names of the individual precinct board members.
SB 1131 was designated as urgency legislation and came into effect immediately upon the Governor’s signature on September 26, 2022.
(SB 1311 amends Sections 2166.5, 12105.5, and 12108 of, and adds Section 2166.8 to, the Elections Code. It also amends Sections 6215 and 6215.2 of the Government Code.)