Governor disposes of mandating diaper changing stations in men's rooms

Governor disposes of mandating diaper changing stations in men's rooms
California Gov. Jerry Brown at a recent news conference. (Nick Ut / AP)

Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday issued identical vetoes to twin bills that would have required many businesses to provide diaper changing stations in men’s restrooms.

"This may be a good business practice, but not one that I am inclined to legislate," Brown wrote in his veto messages.

The so-called "potty parity" measures would have required businesses that build or substantially modify restrooms to provide a baby changing station in the men's room if one is provided in the women's room. Businesses also could build one changing station in a restroom available to men and women.

The bills by Democratic Sens. Ricardo Lara of Bell Gardens and Lois Wolk of Davis would have applied to businesses in frequently visited public areas, such as restaurants and department stores.

Brown made it clear he did not like the smell of the diaper changing bills.

"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," Brown wrote in his veto messages. "Already, many businesses have taken steps to accommodate their customers in this regard."

Sen. Lara said he is "disappointed that the governor did not sign my bill that would have brought greater equality and a more modern outlook on family life.  I hope businesses will recognize that providing baby changing facilities for both mothers and fathers is not only the right thing to do, but also makes good business sense, as the governor suggests."