Breastfeeding Legislation 2017 – 85th Texas Legislative Session
A big thank you to all the legislators that introduced and supported breastfeeding legislation in the 85th session!
HR 3 (Housekeeping Resolution) was approved with the following amendment by Rep. Donna Howard:
“Identify and establish a space that provides privacy, security, a water faucet, and a power outlet, within or near the hall of the house for use for breastfeeding or breastpumping by house members and employees of the house or media representatives entitled to the privileges of the floor when the house is in session.”
The resolution passed without objection!
House and Senate Resolutions Recognizing TXBC
Representative Farrar recognized Texas Breastfeeding Coalition with House Resolution 497 and Senator Zaffirini passed the same resolution in the state Senate, with Senate Resolution 255.
WHEREAS, Despite the vital advantages conferred by breastfeeding, mothers do not always receive the evidence-based, qualified clinical lactation support they need, and some current hospital practices make it more difficult to establish successful breastfeeding; moreover, although the state passed legislation in 1995 affirming the right of a mother to breastfeed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be, breastfeeding mothers continue to face discrimination and often experience a lack of support at work and in public places; and
WHEREAS, The Texas Breastfeeding Coalition is making a positive difference in the lives of women and children through its efforts to educate the public and improve support for breastfeeding, and a special day to spotlight its endeavors is most fitting; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 85th Texas Legislature hereby recognize February 22, 2017, as Texas Breastfeeding Coalition Legislative Action Day at the State Capitol and extend to all those participating sincere best wishes for the future.
No breastfeeding bills were passed during the 85th legislative session. The following bills made it through Committee and were sent to Calendar, but stalled out at that point:
House Bill 443 by Reps. Armando Walle (Houston) and Victoria Neave (Mesquite)
Right to Express Breastmilk in the Workplace – Relating to the places a public employer may provide for employees to express breast milk.
HB 742 by Reps. Jessica Farrar (Houston, Nicole Collier (Fort Worth) & Alma Allen (Houston)
Strengthen Right to BF – Relating to the promotion of breast-feeding and the prohibition against interference with or restriction of the right to breast-feed; creating a civil action.
These bills never passed out of committee:
HB 329 by Rep. Mary Gonzalez (Socorro)
BF Policies of State Agencies – Relating to breast-feeding policies of state agency worksites. (Business & Industry Committee)
SB 279 by Sen. Judith Zaffirini (Laredo)
BF Policies of Capitol and Other Public Buildings – Relating to the expression of breast milk in the Capitol and other public buildings. (Business & Commerce Committee)
The next (86th) legislative session will convene in January 2019.