Gov. Brown vetoes bill to give welfare parents free diapers

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SAN DIEGO — A bill that would have allowed welfare parents in California to receive $50 a month worth of free diapers was vetoed Sunday by Gov. Jerry Brown.

The bill, known as AB 492, was authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, and co-authored by Senator Joel Anderson, R-San Diego.

“Our ongoing support for working parents is essential to building an economy that works for everyone, starting with our youngest children,” Gonzalez said. “While the governor may not be ready to tackle this issue yet, we’ll continue making the case until California’s diaper need is met.”

The bill would have offered a monthly $50 supplement via Electronic Benefit Transfer system per child age 2 or younger to parents enrolled in CalWORKs who also qualify for the childcare benefit, according to Gonzalez.

The monthly supplement would have only been used on diaper purchases, helping address a major barrier to parents seeking to enter and remain in the workforce by making childcare more accessible, Gonzalez said.

In his veto message, Brown said the proper time to discuss the proposal was during the state’s budget process since it requires increased funding.

“This is the best way to evaluate and prioritize all new spending proposals, including those that increase the cost of existing programs,” Brown said. “This process is even more important when the state’s budget is precariously balanced.”