Babies need diapers, and parents could use some help buying them.
That premise motivated a sizable chunk of the California Assembly’s business on Thursday, with lawmakers advancing bills to exempt diapers from sales taxes and authorize a welfare credit for purchasing the infant underwear.
In a rare moment of bipartisan accord on tax policy, lawmakers voted 70-0 to pass Assembly Bill 717 and nix the diaper tax. Members of both parties noted that the list of currently tax-exempt items in California includes candy, yoga classes, dry ice and – poultry litter.
“If poultry litter can be tax-free,” said Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, “I think we can extend ourselves to make diapers tax-free as well.”
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There was a little less agreement on Assembly Bill 492, which would allocate a $50 per child monthly diaper-buying stipend to parents who are receiving subsidized childcare as part of their participation in a welfare-to-work program. The bill passed 60-5, with all the no votes coming from GOP members, though several Republicans also backed the measure.
“Knowing how much diapers are, what happens to hard-working families that cannot purchase diapers and are living paycheck to paycheck?” asked Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, who authored both measures.