- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Lawmakers have approved two bills aimed at offering greater legal protection and benefits to transgender Californians.

SB731 requires child welfare workers to consider a child’s gender identity when placing children in foster care, in an effort to prevent higher rates of depression, abuse and homelessness for transgender children. It passed the Assembly on a 46-0 vote Wednesday.

Another bill, SB703, bars state agencies from signing contracts for goods or services with companies that do not offer the same health benefits to transgender workers as to other employees. It passed 44-20.

Both bills were authored by Sen. Mark Leno, a San Francisco Democrat. They return to the Senate for a final vote.

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