(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblywomen Nancy Pinkin, Carol Murphy and Valerie Vainieri Huttle requiring that lactation rooms be made available at all major Port Authority airports was approved Thursday by the General Assembly.
“Traveling is stressful enough. For nursing mothers, finding a place where they can comfortably breastfeed their babies can make traveling that much more trying,” said Pinkin (D-Middlesex). “Ensuring our airports are prepared for traveling, nursing moms is essential to families.”
“The lack of a private space while traveling through an airport is a major obstacle for nursing moms,” said Murphy (Burlington). “Not all mothers are comfortable nursing in such a public setting. They should have the option to nurse their babies in a more comfortable, reserved environment.”
“For many, nursing in public, especially in a crowded and bustling location can be overwhelming. Alleviating that stress can make all the difference,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) “Offering a safe, sanitary, and private location gives mothers the option to remove themselves from the hectic and stressful airport environment, which is beneficial for both the mother and her nursing infant.”
The bill (A-2504) requires the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) to provide a lactation room at all airports maintained or operated by the Port Authority that have one million or more passengers per year.
Airports maintained or operated by the Port Authority that have fewer than one million but more than 10,000 enplanements per year would be required to provide lactation rooms upon the completion of construction of a new passenger terminal or the replacement, expansion or renovation of an existing passenger terminal.
All lactation rooms are required to include, at minimum, a chair and an electrical outlet and be located outside of the confines of a public restroom. Lactation rooms that are provided following the completion of construction of a new passenger terminal, or the replacement, expansion or renovation of an existing passenger terminal are required to include a sink.
Given that the Port Authority is a bi-state agency, New York State must also pass similar legislation in order for the provisions of this bill to take effect.
The bill was approved 73-0 and now heads to the Senate for further consideration.