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New Sims law prioritizes motherly duties over jury duty

breastfeeding 080618SPRINGFIELD—Mothers who are breastfeeding can now be exempt from jury duty in Illinois.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) sponsored House Bill 5745 that allows nursing mothers to be excused from jury duty upon request.

“We have to respect and defend a mother’s need to breastfeed,” Sims said.  “It is important for us to allow nursing mothers to prioritize their responsibilities as a parent because it’s the most important job they have.”

This legislation is designed to create parity between the Jury Commission Act and the Jury Act, which already allow nursing mothers to be excused from jury duty.

Currently, the Jury Commission Act authorizes the exemption for counties with populations that are between 75,000 and 3 million. The new law excuses all nursing mothers in Illinois regardless of county population size.

The governor signed House Bill 5745 into law today.

Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr.

Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr.

17th District

Years served: 2012–2018 (House); 2018–Present (Senate)

Committee assignments: Appropriations I; Appropriations II (Vice-Chairperson); Criminal Law (Chairperson); Judiciary; Telecommunications & InfoTechnology; Subcommittee on Capital.

Biography: Attorney; born in Chicago; B.S., Political Science, Illinois State University; M.P.A., University of Illinois; J.D., Loyola University Chicago School of Law; married, has two children.

Associated Representatives:
Marcus C. Evans, Jr.
Nicholas K. Smith