WASHINGTON, D.C. (WPRI) — One of the best uses of government is seeing a need, and passing a law to fill it.
A bill requiring publicly accessible federal buildings to have baby-changing facilities in both male and female restrooms passed the Senate Thursday morning after a companion bill passed the House last week.
Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline sponsored the bipartisan bill, after noting there are no baby changing tables at all in the Rayburn federal office building where his office is located. “That means that Rhode Islanders who come to visit my office have to try to find a changing station in another public building – or they’ll have to decide to change their baby on the bathroom floor, which is a terrible option; unsanitary for both the parents and the children,” he said last week when introducing the bill.
The bill now goes to President Barack Obama’s desk to be signed into law.
Within two years of the act — known as the Bathrooms Accessible for Babies in Every Situation, or BABIES act — federal buildings controlled by the General Services Administration, including Congressional offices, Social Security offices, some post offices, and courthouses will have to have at least one baby-changing station available on each floor, as well as signs indicating where stations are available.