Gov. Nixon signs legislation protecting nursing mothers, encouraging healthy families

Posted April 10, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday, April 3, signed House Bill 1320, which respects the rights of nursing mothers and encourages healthy families. The Governor signed the legislation at City Hall in University City, where he was joined by the bill’s sponsor state Rep. Rory Ellinger (D-University City).

“This common-sense legislation respects the rights of mothers to make their own health decisions, because healthy families make a prosperous Missouri,” Gov. Nixon said. “Rep. Ellinger has dedicated himself to lifting up families and strengthening the rights of all Missourians. I appreciate his leadership on this issue and his years of public service.”

“The health benefits of nursing for infants and their mothers are profound, and it’s important that our laws support a mother’s right to pursue this healthy, natural parenting decision” Rep. Ellinger said. “I was pleased to work with a number of legislators, advocates and experts on this issue, as I have over the years on a variety of issues, aimed to improving the lives of all Missourians.”

House Bill 1320, which was approved unanimously in both the House and Senate, prevents nursing mothers from being penalized for breastfeeding in public, and allows a breast-feeding mother to request to be excused from jury duty. The legislation also expands current law to include a mother’s ability to express (pump) breast milk, in addition to breastfeed, in any public or private location where the mother is authorized to be.

House Bill 1320 goes into effect on Aug. 28, 2014.