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House Bill 509 — Birth certificates

House Bill 509 — Birth certificates

Wayne Hoffman
February 25, 2020

Bill description: HB 509 ensures that the sex recorded on a government-issued birth record is not retroactively altered. 

Rating: +1 

Does it in any way restrict public access to information related to government activity or otherwise compromise government transparency or accountability? Conversely, does it increase public access to information related to government activity or increase government transparency or accountability?

When government agencies are assigned the task of maintaining official documents or records, it is understood that those records are immutable and must be maintained in their original form with their original data for research and transparency purposes. This principle applies to all records, whether they are spending records, memos, correspondence, emails, or other documents. In recent years, birth records have been more or less viewed as subject to alteration. HB 509 would prevent the alteration of official government records. 


Analyst’s Note: In the 21st century, new technology, such as immutable blockchain systems, may allow the government to get out of the business of maintaining birth records. In the meantime, one might argue that there should be a way for people who consider themselves to be transgender to file a different document that reflects their gender. That could be accomplished without changing the existing birth records. 

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