Skip to main content

Dr. Bains’ effort to increase funding for childcare and safety programs passes first hurdle with bipartisan support

For immediate release:

(Sacramento, CA) April 3, 2024 - Dr. Jasmeet Bains’ (D-Delano) effort to enhance funding for child abuse prevention, childcare safety, and childhood injury prevention passed its first major hurdle Tuesday, advancing out of the Assembly Human Services Committee with bipartisan and unanimous support.

“At its heart, this bill modernizes a successful program and distributes the funds more equitably throughout California,” Dr. Bains said.

The bill, AB 2828, makes critical updates to the Kids Plates program. Former Assemblywoman, Congresswoman, and women’s rights icon Jackie Speier originally authored Kids Plate legislation in 1992. She created the program to strategically fund essential childcare and child safety services.

“The landscape involving the three child safety issue areas that are a focus of Kids Plates funding has dramatically changed since the initial statute was passed in 1992. Your (Dr. Bains’) bill will bring an infusion of funding to help communities address these three child safety issue areas.” Speier wrote in a letter of support for AB 2828.

Kids Plates are specialty license plates purchased through the California Department of Motor Vehicles. They are denoted by a license plate with a star, handprint, heart, or plus sign. Similar specialty license plate programs include Save the Whales and the Yosemite Park Foundation.

AB 2828 will align the pricing for Kids Plates with other specialty plates available through the DMV, doubling the program’s funding without impacting the state’s general fund. Since the Kids Plates hit the roads in California, they have raised more than $80 million for child safety programs.

The bill also fixes a long-overdue issue with the distribution of the funds by ensuring that each of California’s 58 counties receives an allocation of the Kids Plates funds. Currently, only 30 counties are accessing available dollars. 

“The bill ensures all California counties, and, more importantly, the children and families in those counties, receive support for community-based programs that will save kids’ lives,” said Steve Barrow, State Program Director at the California Coalition for Children’s Safety and Health and one of the original team members who helped draft the 1992 bill.

Other bill supporters include the First 5 Association of California, which represents the 58 First 5 county commissions, and The Children’s Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego School of Law.

The Assembly Transportation Committee will next consider the bill.