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New Sims law to help protect mothers’ rights in courts

breastfeeding 080618CHICAGO—A bill was signed into law that will help protect mothers’ rights in courts throughout Illinois.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) sponsored Senate Bill 3503 that will require circuit courts to have a room for mothers to breastfeed or pump.

“When mothers enter our courthouses, they should not be concerned about where they can pump breastmilk and breastfeed their children,” Sims said. “Providing a safe, clean and private space is a simple solution to help nursing mothers remain active in our court system.”

While the new law does not require county courthouses to incur additional costs to construct these lactation rooms, it does require that the lactation rooms be outside of restrooms and have a chair, a table, an electrical outlet and a sink with running water.

This law addresses a problem many nursing mothers face. Often, not having a lactation room forces them into uncomfortable, unsanitary or inconvenient circumstances.

“I’m pleased that we’re able to work with our courts to accommodate these mothers so they can more easily balance their civic responsibilities and their duties as parents,” said Sims.

Senate Bill 3503 was signed by the governor Friday. Illinois circuit courts must have a lactation room by June 1, 2019.

Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr.

Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr.

17th District

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

Committee assignments:

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 Representative(s): Marcus C. Evans Jr.