State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
The state Senate today took action on Senate Bill 16, a bill to allow breast-feeding in public.
I want to make sure that the public is clear about the details of this bill. This bill is not about the merits of breast-feeding. It is not about whether breast-feeding is healthy or unhealthy. This legislation specifically would allow breast-feeding in any public or private place.
The Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) provides this analysis of Senate Bill 16:
“This bill permits a mother to breast-feed her child in any public or private location where she is otherwise authorized to be.”
The wording of the bill before the state Senate today included the following:
“A mother may breast−feed her child in any public or private location where the mother is otherwise authorized to be. No person may interfere with the right of a mother to breast−feed her child as provided in this section.”
An amendment to the bill I authored changed the above wording to the following:
“A mother may breast−feed her child in any public or private location where the mother is otherwise authorized to be. No person may prohibit a mother from breast-feeding her child as provided in this section.”
My amendment was approved on a voice vote. Senate Bill 16, as amended, was then approved on a voice vote.
Because breast-feeding in public is not prohibited by Wisconsin law, I was not enamored with Senate Bill 16. However, I feel more comfortable that the legislation was amended to stipulate that no person may “prohibit” as opposed to “interfere” with breast-feeding.