California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a measure Sunday that would have subsidized diapers for needy families on government assistance. Brown said the measure represented an end run around the budget process.
It was Brown’s second veto on the issue. He rejected a measure two weeks ago that would have reduced the price of diapers for low-income families by eliminating sales tax. Brown said it would have reduced state sales tax revenue significantly.
The Los Angeles Times said Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, who introduced both measures, pledged to keep trying.
The babycenter estimates disposable diapers will cost $72 a month during the first year of a baby’s life, plus $20 a month for wipes.
The bill vetoed Sunday would have provided $50 per month for every child less than 2 years of age enrolled in child care as a separate benefit from CalWORKs eligibility or benefits. The bill passed the General Assembly earlier this month and would have made California the first state to provide such assistance. San Francisco already distributes diapers to welfare families.
Michele Stillwell-Parvensky, senior policy and government affairs manager of the Children's Defense Fund in Oakland, California, told Broadly the financial burden diapers represents means some children are not changed as often as they should be, which can lead to serious health problems.
ThinkProgress reported in November welfare benefits often are insufficient to cover the cost of diapers. Reps. Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Rosa Delauro of Connecticut, both Democrats, have introduced a measure in Congress to allow states to create pilot programs to provide diapers or a subsidy for buying diapers for low-income families.
“Families should not have to decide between diapers, food or rent,” Ellison said in introducing the bill.
Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont have eliminated the sales tax on diapers. California currently taxes diapers the same way it taxes cigarettes, alcohol and pet food.