Friday, April 24, 2015

Lege Update

From my Facebook Update post (messy with links because I haven't time to make it pretty):

#TXBFLeg #TXLege #Breastfeeding Legislation Update:

I don't like saying this (& don't like when other pages do), but please like & share this update to get Facebook to give it more reach.  But it's lengthy, so mostly, share & tell breastfeeding supporters to contact B&I, preferably by phone, to try to save HB 232.

HB 786 (Rep. Walle, Pump at Work bill)

Yesterday HB 786 passed in the House!  This is fantastic & awesome & wonderful news! And it means there is MORE WORK TO DO!  

It still has to be voted on again this Monday in the House.  We want legislators to keep hearing from us to ensure we have as many yay votes as possible when we head into the Senate. After Monday, we need Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to refer HB 786 to a committee promptly so that there is time for a Senate committee to pass the bill & for the entire Senate to vote on it. 

Yesterday the TCC (Texas Conservative Coalition) put out a report highlighting their opposition to HB 786 & referring to the wrong bill language (from last session) so their report was riddled with mistakes that could bias legislators against the bill.  TPPA did the same thing last session (if you helped support the bill 2 years ago you may remember the night we bombarded the executive director with contacts).  TPPA is neutral this session, as are the Republican Caucus & TPPF (Texas Public Policy Foundation).  

This faulty report makes it even more necessary that (especially conservative) legislators hear from us.  Breastfeeding is a bipartisan issue & support is a public health imperative.  So keep referring to the action alert at  Keep contacting your legislators & spreading the word.  This is a marathon, folks.  We have to keep pushing.

You can see the bill pass its 2nd reading at the 2:23:38 mark at

There's an article here & an awesome tweet here

HB 232 (Rep. Farrar, Strengthening Right to BF in Public)

I am at a loss here, y'all.  Last session this bill passed in Business & Industry unanimously.  This year a new member, Rep. Matt Rinaldi, opposed the bill.  As a result, it has been pending in committee for over a month.  Which means, essentially, that he has killed it.  If B&I doesn't vote this week, I don't see how it can pass.  I'm in Abilene today or I'd go to the Capitol & talk to each B&I member in person. 

I have tried to be diplomatic & to get the timing right, to be cautious - there's so much I haven't shared here because I've been afraid of hurting the bill.  I have stuck with asking for constituents to contact the lege because that's what they value.  But I am wondering if I should have shared Rep. Rinaldi's bathroom comment or asked people to call from *anywhere* weeks ago.  

Yesterday I drove past Brownwood, where Morgan Riley lives.  Days after I & others testified in favor of HB 232 a police officer forced Morgan to leave a roller rink for breastfeeding.  That's what Rep. Rinaldi is perpetuating with his opposition to this bill.  

I'm taking my kids to Frontier Texas soon & I can't spend the day on social media.  I've literally spent hundreds and hundreds of volunteer hours trying to support this bill.  It means the world to me.  But my kids mean more.  I've already spent a few hours on the phone & online this morning.  The rest of today I'm going to go be a mom.  I leave the advocacy for this one in your hands today.  Blast all over social media.  And anybody from anywhere, contact B&I, especially Reps. Rinaldi, Simmons, Fletcher, Villalba & Oliveira.  Even if you don't live in Texas, what we as the 2nd most populous state in the nation, & as a conservative state - what we do will affect public health & will affect similar measures in other states.  We are ALL stakeholders.

SB 1479 (Sen. Garcia, Pumping Rights for Teachers)

There was a hearing for this bill yesterday.  The video cuts off before Carolyn Putnam, IBCLC gets to testify (& my friend Anna Smith had to go home before they got to that bill - she had to quit her job when her principal would not support her to pump at work, but she left written testimony), but the last couple of minutes can be seen here:

Our other 4 bills have had no movement yet.

So that's where we are right now.  Please get involved & keep pushing!

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