A proposed bill would increase the number of diaper-changing stations across the state.
The bill — brought forth by Reps. Jonathan Brostoff and David Crowley and Sen. Chris Larson, all Milwaukee Democrats — would require many new or renovated buildings or businesses that are open to the public to add diaper-changing stations in at least one men’s restroom and one women’s restroom.
If the facility has all-gender restrooms, at least one must have a diaper-changing station.
Brostoff said the bill was created in part following his experiences as a new parent of his 9-month-old son, Boaz. He said it’s a fairly common occurrence that he is at an establishment that does not have a diaper-changing station or the only one they have is in the women’s restroom.
“The nature of child care and the labor force is changing,” Brostoff said. “Things are shifting and we should adjust according to the needs of new families. This should be a no-brainer.”
If the bill were to become law, it would apply to new building construction and renovations that impact more than 50% of a restroom’s square footage, as well as renovations that exceed $10,000.
Certain establishments — including bars, nightclubs and adult entertainment facilities — would be exempt from the rule.
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Brostoff estimated a changing station costs between $150 and $200.
“I think it’s good for business, the cost is negligible,” he said.
Brostoff said he has reached out to Republican lawmakers to support the bill, which he hopes to see approved early next year.
“Being a new parent isn’t a Republican thing or a Democrat thing, it’s a family values thing,” he said.
Emails seeking comment to the offices of Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, were not returned.