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California Proposition 64, Mandatory Reporting of AIDS (1986)

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California Proposition 64, or the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Act of 1986, was on the November 4, 1986 ballot in California as an initiated state statute, where it was defeated.
  • Yes: 2,039,744 (29.3%)
  • No: 5,012,255 (70.7%) Defeatedd

Proposition 64 would have declared that Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and the "condition of being a carrier" of the virus that causes AIDS are communicable diseases. It would have required the State Department of Health Services to add these conditions to the list of diseases that must be reported. Because AIDS cases are already being reported, the main impact of Proposition 64 would have been to require of public health officials that they were mandatorily required to report to health authorities about those who are "carriers of the AIDS virus."

Proposition 64 also would have required that the California Department of Health Services and all health officers "shall fulfill all of the duties and obligations specified" under the applicable laws "in a manner consistent with the intent of this act."

Ballot summary

The official ballot summary said, "Declares that AIDS is an infectious, contagious and communicable disease and that the condition of being a carrier of the HTLV-III virus is an infectious, contagious and communicable condition. Requires both be placed on the list of reportable diseases and conditions maintained by the director of the Department of Health Services. Provides that both are subject to quarantine and isolation statutes and regulations. Provides that Department of Health Services personnel and all health officers shall fulfill the duties and obligations set forth in specified statutory provisions to preserve the public health from AIDS."

Fiscal impact

The fiscal estimate provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:

The fiscal effect of this measure could vary greatly, depending on how it would be interpreted by state and local health officers and the courts. If existing discretionary communicable disease controls were applied to the AIDS disease, there would be no substantial net change in state and local costs as a direct result of this measure. Thus, the primary effect of this measure would be to require the reporting of persons who are carriers of the virus which causes AIDS. Very few cases would be reported because no test to confirm that a person carries the virus is readily available. If such a test becomes widely available in the future, more cases would be reported.

The fiscal impact could be very substantial if the measure were interpreted to require changes in AIDS control measures by state and local health officers, either voluntarily or as a result of a change in medical knowledge on how the disease is spread, or as a result of court decisions which mandate certain control measures. Ultimately, the fiscal impact would depend on the level of activity that state and local health officers might undertake with respect to: (1) identifying, isolating and quarantining persons infected with the virus, or having the disease, and (2) excluding those persons from schools or food handling positions. The cost of implementing these actions could range from millions of dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

In summary, the net fiscal impact of this measure is unknown -- and could vary greatly, depending on what actions are taken by health officers and the courts to implement this measure.

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