Key California Assembly Committee Backs Bill to Provide Protections of Caste Discrimination

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By Chris Lee

SACRAMENTO, CA – In a state-wide effort to remedy certain facets of discrimination, California’s Assembly Judiciary has passed Senate Bill 403 unanimously—the measure deals with the legal protections for people being discriminated against on the basis of caste.

Prior to this approval, the State Senate indicated its bipartisan support for the bill, passing it 34-1.

Commenting on this series of victories, Senator Aisha Wahab said “this was a significant win for this bill…SB 403 will end caste discrimination. The definitions and protections included in this bill will protect millions.”

Further elaborating on her initiative for this bill in November of 2022, Senator Wahab explained that “caste systems are a social hierarchy that limit human potential, crush spirits, and cause intergenerational trauma spanning centuries.”

She said she believes the bill would protect “workers’ rights, women’s rights and civil rights.”

Before officially being signed into law by California’s governor Gavin Newsom, SB 403 must overcome the hurdles in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, Assembly floor vote and Senate concurrence.

However, given the number of high-profile interest groups behind this bill, including, but not limited to, the South Asian Bar Association of North America, Stop AAPI Hate, ACLU, Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, California Labor Federation, Alphabet Workers Union, and MeToo International, bill supporters expect the measure to be approved.

About The Author

Chris Lee is a rising sophomore at the University of California, Berkeley, studying political science and computer science. Ranging from intellectual property to criminal justice, he has a variety of academic interests. Subsequent to completing his undergraduate studies, Chris hopes to attend law school and pursue a career in the legal field.

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