The California Senate Transportation and Housing Committee passed two bills on Tuesday that would require businesses to provide baby-changing stations in men’s bathrooms, according to a report from Fox News.
SB 1358, sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Lois Wolk, is the stricter of the two bills and would require businesses like movie theaters and shopping centers, as well as some private businesses, to install the changing stations in men’s rooms. The bill would also compel building inspectors to enforce the changing table policy or issue fines to businesses for noncompliance.
On the other hand, Democratic state Sen. Ricardo Lara’s SB 1350 is more lenient. It would still require any business installing changing tables in women’s bathrooms to do the same for men’s bathrooms, but the bill doesn’t explicitly indicate which businesses need to have changing stations.
Lara talked up his bill in a statement to Fox News: “As the demographics of the modern American family evolve, traditional gender roles with women as the primary caregiver for the children are changing, and men are becoming more and more involved in the care of their young children. There are also a growing number of same-sex households with children.”
Stay-at-home mom Kristin Today is a fan of both bills, according to Southern California Public Radio’s report. “I think that all men’s restrooms should have a changing table. I always tell him it’s half their kid and they should be doing the diapers just as we do.”
Still, at least one Republican is against the proposed bills: a policy consultant for Republican Sen. Mark Wyland said the bills could be a costly requirement for businesses already struggling with cumbersome regulation.
The bill will reportedly move on to the Senate Appropriations Committee for further action.