Capitol Alert

Dad’s turn for diaper duty: Bill would put baby-changing tables in men’s bathrooms

Peter Kosinski changes the diaper of his 2-year-old son, Aiden, after coming home from work in 2006. Assembly Bill 1127 by Assemblyman Ian Calderon, D-Whittier, would require public buildings and venues to include at least one baby diaper-changing station accessible to both women and men. A previous version of the measure was vetoed in 2014 by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Peter Kosinski changes the diaper of his 2-year-old son, Aiden, after coming home from work in 2006. Assembly Bill 1127 by Assemblyman Ian Calderon, D-Whittier, would require public buildings and venues to include at least one baby diaper-changing station accessible to both women and men. A previous version of the measure was vetoed in 2014 by Gov. Jerry Brown. Sacramento Bee file

In the modern California family, mothers and fathers share diaper duty, and Assemblyman Ian Calderon wants to make sure that’s as true in public as it is at home.

The Whittier Democrat is carrying a bill this session that aims to increase access to baby-changing tables across the state. Assembly Bill 1127 would require new construction or bathroom renovations of buildings owned by state and local agencies, as well as public venues such as movie theaters, grocery stores, libraries and restaurants, to include at least one diaper-changing station accessible to women and men.

“As an expectant father, I want to ensure that our state’s public health polices adapt to support the evolving needs of all Californians and their families,” Calderon said in a statement. “Diaper changing tables are not readily accessible at all venues, and are even less available to men. AB 1127 will ensure that both moms and dads have a safe, sanitary place to change their baby.”

AB 1127, which is jointly authored by Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, passed the Assembly Business and Professions Committee unanimously on Tuesday and moves next to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration of its fiscal impact. It is supported by the Consumer Federation of California and has not registered any formal opposition.

But a similar effort three years ago, carried by then-Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, and passed with broad bipartisan support, was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown, who called it “a good business practice, but not one that I am inclined to legislate.”

“At a time when so many have raised concerns about the number of regulations in California, I believe it would be more prudent to leave the matter of diaper changing stations to the private sector,” he wrote in a veto message. “Already, many businesses have taken steps to accommodate their customers in this regard.”

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff

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