Civil Rights Council Secures Final Approval for Updates to Regulations Protecting Against Discrimination in State-Funded Programs

March 20, 2024

For Immediate Release

Updated regulations set to go into effect on July 1, 2024

SACRAMENTO – The California Civil Rights Council today announced securing final approval for updated regulations implementing California’s antidiscrimination protections in state-funded programs and activities. The regulations implement Government Code section 11135 and related statutes, which prohibit discrimination in and ensure equal access to programs, services, or activities that receive funding from the state. The newly approved regulations provide increased clarity to the state’s civil rights protections and ensure consistency with developments in federal and California law.

“Government Code section 11135 was enacted nearly 50 years ago as a mechanism to protect people in our state against discrimination. Over the years, it has expanded to provide meaningful access for people in their everyday lives and as they engage with programs funded by the state,” said Civil Rights Council Councilmember Adetunji Olude. “I am proud of our work to update these regulations and build upon the important work of those in the legislature, within the Civil Rights Department, former Civil Rights Council members, the public, and other essential stakeholders to advance civil rights.”

“Section 11135 provides important civil rights protections for all Californians,” said Civil Rights Council Councilmember Julie Wilensky. “These regulations have been many years in the making, and the Council appreciates the contributions of the Civil Rights Department, former Councilmembers Dara Schur and Dale Brodsky, and everyone who provided public comments.”

“From public transportation to clean drinking water, state funded programs play a critical role in our everyday lives,” said Civil Rights Department Director Kevin Kish. “And equal access to those services is just as important. It’s about fairness and giving everyone a chance to thrive. These historic regulations are a key part of our ongoing commitment to advancing equity for all Californians.”

In 2017, as a result of the passage of Senate Bill 1442, the authority to enforce Government Code section 11135 was transferred to the California Civil Rights Department (CRD), and the authority to issue regulations was transferred to the Civil Rights Council, the regulatory branch of CRD. Following this change, the Civil Rights Council subsequently engaged in significant research, public hearings, and public comment in order to enact a wide range of needed updates to the Government Code section 11135 regulations, which had not been updated in more than four decades. Whether it is with respect to public safety net programs or any other state-funded effort, the newly updated regulations under Government Code section 11135, which were approved by the Office of Administrative Law on March 19, 2024, aim to ensure state activities do not contribute to or exacerbate unlawful discrimination in California. The regulations are currently set to go into effect on July 1, 2024.

Among other changes, the updated regulations work to:

  • Ensure California law is interpreted in a way that is at least as protective as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal law that similarly prohibits discrimination in programs and activities receiving federal financial assistance.
  • Provide clear definitions about who is protected by the law and who must comply with it, including by clearly enumerating existing protected characteristics such as physical disability, ancestry, and marital status.
  • Clarify standards for determining whether a practice is discriminatory or denies full and equal access, including legal standards for facial discrimination, intentional discrimination, and disparate impact discrimination.
  • Clearly communicate state-law standards for providing equal access to government programs to people with disabilities or with limited English proficiency.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of discrimination, CRD may be able to assist you through its complaint process. General information about CRD’s complaint process and how to file a complaint is available here.

The full text of the updated regulations and additional information on the Civil Rights Council is available here.


The California Civil Rights Department (CRD) is the state agency charged with enforcing California’s civil rights laws. CRD’s mission is to protect the people of California from unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and state-funded programs and activities, and from hate violence and human trafficking. For more information, visit

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