Moments ago, the full Illinois House of Representatives approved Senate Bill 3503 on a vote of 111 to 3. The bill requires county courthouses across the State of Illinois to have clean, separate space available for parents to pump breast milk. The bill, which now goes to Governor Rauner for his signature, fills a gap in state law which provided a space for employees in courthouses to pump, but not lawyers, jurors and witnesses who spend long hours at a courthouse as part of their work or civic duty. The following statement can be ascribed to Khadine Bennett, Advocacy and Intergovernmental Affairs Director at the ACLU of Illinois:
No one wants their food prepared in a dirty, cramped bathroom stall. And, no one wants to prepare food for their children in this setting. By filling this gap in our state’s law, we can assure that no one is forced to pump breastmilk in such a location.
We applaud the women across Illinois who came forward to raise awareness on this issue and State Representative Kelly Cassidy for her leadership on this matter. We urge the Governor to sign this measure as soon as possible. No one should have to choose between the health and safety of their children and doing their job or providing valuable CIVIC service. We are pleased to have led this effort and to have the support of organizations and individuals throughout the state.