Wednesday, May 4, 2011

We Are Official!

I am happy to report that Gov. Bill Haslam signed SB0083/HB0871 into law on April 21. As of April 28, the new law has become Public Chapter 91 (click here for a copy)! We are legal! LOL

So, as of July 1, 2011, our right to breastfeed our children OF ANY AGE in public will be officially protected!

Thank you so much to everyone who made phone calls, wrote e-mails and supported the effort to change the law. GOOD WORK!!!

Well, I suppose my blogging here is done. If anything else of interest comes up, I'll post something.

Thanks for all the support!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

It Passed!

As the title says, SB0083/HB0871 passed the House yesterday afternoon with a vote of 94-0-1. I'm not sure why Rep. Tommie Brown didn't vote for it (she was "Present, Not Voting"), but it didn't matter because the rest of the house members that were present did vote for it! There was no discussion and no objection on the bill at all.

Now the bill will go to the Speakers of the Senate and House for their signature and then it's off to Gov. Bill Haslam to sign it into law! I am not sure if it will be law as soon as it's signed or if it takes effect on July 1, 2011. I am pretty sure it takes effect once it is signed by the governor.

This is such good news and I can't express how excited I am to see the law get changed for the benefit of our breastfeeding mothers and breastfed children.

We did it!!!!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'

Well, HB0871 was on the agenda for the House floor on Thursday. When it came up, Rep. Debra Maggert asked that the bill be rolled to the next House session. So now the bill is on the agenda for Monday, April 4.

I don't know why Rep. Maggert asked for the bill to be rolled, or why it was her instead of the sponsor, Rep. Harry Brooks. I haven't listened to the beginning of the floor session from Thursday, but it may have been that Rep. Brooks wasn't present.

In any case, the bill is still alive, and that's good! Hopefully it will be heard on the floor and pass with no opposition.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

We Passed the Senate!

Just a few minutes ago, SB0083 passed the Senate with no opposition! As a matter of fact, both Sen. Beverly Marrero and Sen. Brian Kelsey both commended Sen. Faulk on sponsoring the bill. Sen. Marrero mentioned that a pediatrician in her district had called to ask for her support of the bill. Sen. Kelsey went so far as to sign on as a co-sponsor before the vote was taken.

This is excellent news! The next step will be for HB0871 bill to be heard on the House floor, which will be next Thursday, March 31st. On another positive note, I saw this morning that six other representatives had signed on as co-sponsors, which shows that the bill has a good bit of support.

The video from today's Senate session can be seen at this link:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Now the Senate

I saw this morning that SB 0083 was placed on the calendar to be heard tomorrow, March 24, on the Senate floor. This means that all the senators from across the state will hear the bill and vote on it. The Senate session is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m., but it may be a little while before they get to the bill.

I plan to watch the proceedings, and if you would like to as well, you can do so by going to this link and clicking on the video icon under "View Video":

If you haven't already contacted your senator to ask for his/her support of SB 0083, you can still do so. Here is a link for their contact information:

If the bill is not passed in the Senate, then it will be dead for this year. Here's hoping it passes!

UPDATE: It looks as though HB 0871 is set to be heard in the House Calendar and Rules Committee tomorrow as well. That means they will set a date for the bill to be heard on the House floor.

Hopefully I'll have some good updates tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Great News!

Today SB0083 and HB0871 passed the Senate and House health committees! This is wonderful!

The Senate General Welfare Committee met first today and there was considerable discussion about the age limit. Sen. Faulk had brought in Dr. Julie Ware, a pediatrician from Memphis, who provided the committee with a packet of information on breastfeeding that included studies and statistics to support the bill. Dr. Ware testified on the benefits of breastfeeding and of the bill.

The discussion on the age limit was the typical thing I have heard before; "What about breastfeeding a 5-year-old in public? That's not normal!" But Sen. Faulk fought for his position and told the committee that an age limit was arbitrary and the state of Tennessee doesn't have the right to say how long a woman should breastfeed her child.

It was quite a discussion, but ultimately the bill passed out of the committee and is now scheduled for the Senate Calendar Committee, who will decide when the bill will be heard before the full Senate.

In the House Health Committee, HB0871 was heard early this afternoon. Rep. Brooks also had Dr. Ware speak to this committee on the benefits of breastfeeding and on the House bill.

There was not much discussion on the bill in the House committee, although Rep. Jeanne Richardson did compliment Rep. Brooks on sponsoring the bill.

The bill passed the House Health Committee and is now set for the House Calendar Committee.

If you would like to watch video of the proceedings, click on this link and select the committee you want to see from the menu on the left-hand side.

Also, here is a link to an article covering the Senate committee meeting:

Monday, March 14, 2011

House Health Committee

As reported in the last post, both the House bill and the Senate bill are scheduled to be heard before the health committees on Wednesday, March 16th. As promised, below is the list of the members of the House Health and Human Resources Committee if you would like to contact them:

Rep. Scotty Campbell -
Rep. Vance Dennis -
Rep. Jeanne Richardson -
Rep. Cameron Sexton -
Rep. Mike Sparks -
Rep. Ryan Williams -
Rep. Joe Armstrong -
Rep. Glen Casada -
Rep. Joshua Evans -
Rep. JoAnne Favors -
Rep. Curtis Halford -
Rep. Mike Harrison -
Rep. Joey Hensley -
Rep. Matthew Hill -
Rep. Gary Odom -
Rep. Mary Pruitt -
Rep. Bob Ramsey -
Rep. David Shepard -
Rep. Mike Turner -
Rep. Mark White -

The first six members listed are not on the subcommittee that passed the bill last week, so they may or may not be familiar with the legislation. I plan on contacting only those six members because I sent an e-mail to the subcommittee members last week.