Summary: States and localities routinely consider the fiscal impact, and often other impacts, of proposed legislation. The Racial Impact Statements Act creates a procedure for the legislature/council to consider the impacts of legislation on minority racial and ethnic communities.
Background: Nine states (CO, CT, FL, IA, ME, MD, NJ, OR, VA) have developed methods for lawmakers to evaluate the potential impact of legislation on minority populations. See the Sentencing Project’s discussion (June 16, 2021). The same procedures would be appropriate in cities and counties.
Model based on Maine LD2 (2021) and Colorado HB1184 (2019)
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE
This legislation shall be called the “Racial Impact Statements Act.”
SECTION 2. RACIAL IMPACT STATEMENTS
[In the Rules of this legislature/council], after section XXX, the following new section XXX shall be inserted:
RACIAL IMPACT STATEMENTS
A) Upon the request of a legislative committee, [the legislative research department OR the director of a state/county/municipal agency] shall provide to that legislative committee such an analysis based on available data and research to outline the potential effects of a proposed bill on specific historically disadvantaged racial or ethnic populations. This racial impact statement information must be provided in a timely manner.
B) In order to test the racial impact statement process, [the legislative research department/no agency] shall be required to prepare more than [XXX] such statements during calendar year .
C) The [Rules Committee] shall perform a study to determine the best method to establish and implement racial impact statements for all legislation beginning [January 1, 2023]. This study shall be completed by November 1, 2022 and consider:
1) What has been done in other jurisdictions to accomplish the development and use of racial impact statements;
2) What data, analysis or other information is needed to produce a racial impact statement and what the best source of that data, analysis or other information is, such as, but not limited to, an executive agency;
3) Specific policy areas that would benefit from the use of racial impact statements, including, but not limited to, education; health care; employment, including wages; housing, including home ownership; and criminal justice and public safety;
4) The costs of implementing the use of racial impact statements, either on a limited basis, such as for certain committees, policy areas or instruments, such as committee or floor amendments, or for all legislation; and
5) Anything else the [Rules Committee] considers relevant.
SECTION 3. EFFECTIVE DATE
This law shall become effective on July 1, 202X.