(Click on each bill for the pages of our White Papers which pertain to that bill. For breastfeeding-specific pages, click here.)
Legislative action is needed to support breastfeeding to
improve health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.
Removing barriers to breastfeeding will increase breastfeeding rates, which will in turn save dollars for families, businesses, and government, as well as save lives and improve health outcomes for babies and mothers.
Breastfeeding reduces babies’ risk of obesity, diabetes, asthma, some cancers, and sudden infant death syndrome, among other diseases and conditions. Breastfeeding has been linked to a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, breast cancer and ovarian cancer for mothers.
Texas Breastfeeding Coalition supported the seven pieces of legislation below in the 84th session to address barriers to breastfeeding.
HB 786 passed and is now Chapter 619! In the next session, we will work to fix an amendment that was added to HB 786 and will continue to support efforts that address the issues the bills below sought to improve.
House Bill 786 by Representative Walle with Reps. Susan King, Hernandez, and Martinez Fischer,
Coauthored by Reps. Blanco, Farias, Mary González, Moody, and Justin Rodriguez;
Sponsored by Senator Zaffrini, Cosponsored by Senators Ellis, Garcia and Watson
Under current law, salaried employees who are new mothers returning to work and needing to express breastmilk during the workday do not have the legal protections to do so afforded by the FLSA to hourly employees. HB 786 will close that loophole for public employees, translating into significant health benefits for children and mothers, and significant economic benefits for the public employers.
The Texas House of Representatives passed this measure in 2013 and again this session, and the Senate has voted for an amended version. Now the bill will go to conference to resolve the differences in the House and Senate versions, before the bill can move on to the Governor.
HB 232 will educate business owners that the right to breastfeed exists under current law, will make it illegal to violate that right, and will give recourse when mothers face discrimination.
This is the sixth filing by Rep. Farrar of this measure. In the 2013 session, the bill was passed unanimously from committee and was set for the House calendar. In the 2015 session, it again passed in Business and Industry and was set for the calendar, but again the clock ran out before it could be voted on.
SB 26 will require that state agencies, to the degree practicable, attain the Mother-Friendly Worksite designation created by Health and Safety Code §165.005. These agencies will develop policies to provide time and a place for mothers to express breastmilk and store it for later use by their babies.
SB 26 was referred to the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce at the end of January, but never had a hearing.
Licensing IBCLCs will improve access to qualified care for mothers with complex breastfeeding problems, and will create jobs.
HB 3976 was referred to the Licensing & Administrative Procedures Committee in March but did not have a hearing.
While a teacher’s aide, as an hourly employee, is given time and a place to express milk, salaried teachers are not always supported, leaving many forced to choose between their jobs and breastfeeding. SB 1479 will require school districts to support all educators.
SB 1479 was passed 7 to 2 by the Senate Committee on Education, but met with resistance in the full Senate and was removed from the Senate intent calendar.
HB 1281 will require reasonable workplace accommodations for and prevent discrimination against mothers over pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
HB 1281 was referred to the House Business and Industry Committee in early March, but did not have a hearing.