Salas Introduces Bill to Keep Kids Safe and Help Prevent Child Abuse

AB 2602 will empower local communities to provide quality childhood safety programs


SACRAMENTO, CA – Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) introduced AB 2602, which will boost revenue for the “Have a Heart, Be a Star, Help Our Kids” (Kids Plate) program and support county child abuse prevention services, increase local childcare provider recruitment, and fund children’s safety programs across California. According to the CDC, child unintentional injury is the leading cause of death for children and teens in the United States, killing approximately 12,000 children and young adults a year.

“My priority is to help ensure that our children are being cared for and protected from harm,” said Assemblymember Salas. “AB 2602 will revitalize the Kids Plate program and use its funds more efficiently in our underserved communities. Providing these resources to our counties and local organizations will help families prevent injuries, make childcare safer, and protect our kids from child abuse.”

The Kids Plate program is funded by voluntary purchases of the “Have a Heart, Be a Star, Help Our Kids” license plate. Since the program’s inception, $50 million has been raised to focus on child abuse prevention, childhood unintentional injury prevention, and childcare safety and health. Supplying local agencies with vital resources for health education and training will benefit all California children and families, especially those living in rural and urban underserved communities.

“We appreciate the leadership of Assemblymember Salas for bringing this bill forward,” said First 5 Kern Executive Director Roland Maier. “This is a great opportunity to spread this child safety funding equitably across the state and bring dollars into Kern County that will go toward child abuse prevention and child safety, as well as training for child care providers, for many years to come.”

AB 2602 will now be referred to the Assembly Rules Committee.