Capitol Alert AM Newsletter

Removing the ‘diaper tax’ + Plastic control + Democrats tour border shelters

California Democrats are proposing some tax cuts on these items

California Democrats have several bills to ease the tax burden on the poor, as well as the struggling legal marijuana industry. The bills would cut the sales tax on legal marijuana, tampons and diapers, help renters.
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California Democrats have several bills to ease the tax burden on the poor, as well as the struggling legal marijuana industry. The bills would cut the sales tax on legal marijuana, tampons and diapers, help renters.

Good morning and Happy Nowruz!

The Senate and Assembly both gavel in at 9 a.m.


When Norah Weinstein heard that some of the families her nonprofit Baby2Baby worked with were paying up to 14 percent of their income on diapers, she and co-president Kelly Sawyer Patricof knew they had to head to the Capitol to get something done.

“We’re seeing families make decisions to put food on the table or buy diapers,” Weinstein said. “It’s the first need of a baby. Parents look at diapers in the same category as they look at food and rent.”

Today Baby2Baby representatives, including board member and Modern Family actress Julie Bowen will meet with Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office to share the stories of the families the nonprofit serves and explain why “dumping the diaper tax would make a significant impact.”

According to a 2017 Huggies and National Diaper Bank Network study, nearly 60 percent of families in ‘diaper need’ reported having to miss work at some point because they did not have enough diapers to send with their baby to childcare.

“I would have to switch diapers out on my children,” a Baby2Baby mother recounted in the nonprofit’s 2018 video. “It was hectic, it was chaotic. My son sometimes went a day or two with no diapers. He had the same diaper that I switched out on him from my daughter. Because there were no diapers, there were no wipes.”

Gonzalez authored Assembly Bill 66, which would eliminate sales taxes on diapers tax in an effort to help the one in three families who struggle paying for the six to 10 diapers a baby needs per day. The bill heads to the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee next month.

“We know the cost of children’s diapers is a financial burden for all families,” Gonzalez said. “Thanks to our incredible supporters in the fight to end diaper need, like Baby2Baby, this year we might finally eliminate the state sales tax on this basic health necessity.”


As President Donald Trump eases federal regulations aimed at protecting the environment, California Democrats are moving in the opposite direction. Their Public Enemy No. 1? Plastic.

Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, earned a victory for his Senate Bill 54 during a Senate Committee on Environmental Quality hearing on Wednesday.

SB 54 would require reducing and recycling at least 75 percent of single-use packaging and products in California by 2030.

“We can’t keep ignoring the public health and pollution threat posed by mounting plastic waste,” Allen said when he introduced the bill in February. “Every day Californians generate tons of non-recyclable, non-compostable waste that clog landfills, rivers, and beaches. The waste is often eventually broken down into toxic chemicals – some of them cancer-causing – that find their way into our food and water systems.”

The 5-0 vote came just before the same group of lawmakers hosted a panel of clean ocean advocates who traveled to Sacramento to share research on the 10 to 28 billion pounds of plastic floating in oceans. The waste, they said, ends up in our water and food and in the stomachs of unsuspecting marine life.

Not very appetizing.

“It’s in the air we breathe, it’s in our tap water, it’s in our bottled water,” said Miriam Gordon, program director for the nonprofit Upstream, who said that continuing California’s anti-plastic momentum requires “changing our throwaway culture” and encouraging greater plastic bans.


California Democratic Party leaders are heading to the border for a tour of migrant shelters today. The party leaders are meeting with the Jewish Family Services of San Diego and will also head to Tijuana to tour Movimiento Juventud 2000 Shelter for Women, Children or Complete Families and Casa Oracion Shelter for Men.

While the White House has launched a campaign against immigration, California has stepped up efforts — some through the many lawsuits Attorney General Xavier Becerra has filed against the president — to protect migrants and refugees.

The Trump Administration has manufactured a border crisis that has become a real nightmare for families who are rightfully seeking asylum,” said Alexandra Gallardo Rooker, acting chair of the party. We are going to see what we can do to help bring about a positive outcome for a deeply tragic situation.”


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