SB 244 (Lara) would prohibit state and local agencies from collecting or recording information that isn’t necessary to administer a program, and from disclosing records containing personal information for purposes not directly related to administering those services and programs.
AAP Positional Letter
April 18, 2017
The Honorable Ricardo Lara
State Capitol, Room 5050
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: (916) 651-4933
SB 244 (Lara): Privacy: agencies: personal information
AAP-CA Position: SUPPORT
Dear Senator Lara:
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing the 5,000 board-certified pediatrician members of all four California AAP regional chapters statewide, strongly supports your proposed legislation SB 244 (Lara). This bill would prohibit state and local agencies from collecting or recording information that isn’t necessary to administer a government program, and from disclosing records containing personal information for purposes not directly related to administering those services and programs.
For the good of children, it is essential that all those who reside in California have access to state support programs that enable them to feed, clothe, and shelter their family. Children and their parents should be able to seek state-sponsored medical care, pursue an education, and otherwise trust in their local and state government agencies without fear that doing so will jeopardize their own safety or their families’. However, many Californians find themselves reluctant to seek support crucial to the health and well-being of their children because of fears of deportation or government surveillance. Recent reporting by NPR, for instance, indicates a significant drop in the number of undocumented parents seeking food assistance for their American citizen children, which could have severe consequences for their children’s health and well-being (“Deportation Fears Cause Immigrants to Cancel Food Stamps,” March 28, 2017).
SB 244 (Lara) would reassure these families that they can continue to seek food assistance, medical assistance, and other government support critical to the health and well-being of their children, without fearing that their information will be turned over to immigration authorities. More broadly, it would guarantee to all Californians that their information would be kept secure by and used only for the proper purposes, increasing trust between Californians and their government.
California pediatricians strongly support SB 244 (Lara). We thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and well-being of children, youth, and families in California.
Susan Wu, M.D., Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics
State Government Affairs Committee, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
CC: Kris Calvin, CEO; AAP-CA Leadership; Lydia Bourne