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S.156

Introduced by Senator Doyle of Washington County, Senator McCormack of Windsor County, Senator Cummings of Washington County and Senator Scott of Washington County

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject: Health; breastfeeding

Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to implement proposals of the breastfeeding study commission.

AN ACT RELATING TO BREASTFEEDING

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 4 V.S.A. § 962 is amended to read:

§ 962. QUALIFICATIONS; EXCUSE FROM SERVICE

(a) A person shall be qualified for jury service if the person:

(1) is a citizen of the United States who has attained the age of majority;

(2) resides within the geographical jurisdiction of the court in which called to serve;

(3) is able to read, write, understand and speak the English language;

(4) is capable, by reason of mental or physical condition, to render satisfactory jury service; *[and

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(5) has not served a term of imprisonment in this state after conviction of a felony; and

(6) is not a breastfeeding mother responsible for the daily care of an infant and who is not otherwise regularly employed at a location outside her home.

(b) No person shall be automatically excused from jury service; however, the presiding judge may excuse a person for all or part of the two-year period upon individual request showing undue hardship on the prospective juror or the employer.

Sec. 2. 9 V.S.A. § 4502(j) is added to read:

(j) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may breastfeed her baby in any location or place of public accommodation in which the mother would otherwise be permitted to bottle-feed her baby, whether or not the mother’s breast is visible during the feeding.

Sec. 3. 15 V.S.A. § 655 is amended to read:

§ 665. RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES ORDER; BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD

* * *

(b) In making an order under this section, the court shall be guided by the best interests of the child, and shall consider at least the following factors:

* * *

(8) the ability and disposition of the parents to communicate, cooperate with each other and make joint decisions concerning the children where parental rights and responsibilities are to be shared or divided*[.]*;

(9) whether the mother is breastfeeding the child;

*[

(9)]*(10) in addition, the court shall consider evidence of abuse, as defined in section 1101 of this title, and the impact of the abuse on the child and on the relationship between the child and the abusing parent.

(c) The court shall not apply a preference for one parent over the other because of the sex of the child, the sex of a parent or the financial resources of a parent.

(d) The court may order a parent who is awarded responsibility for a certain matter involving a child's welfare to inform the other parent when a major change in that matter occurs.

(e) The jurisdiction granted by this section shall be limited by the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act, if another state has jurisdiction as provided in that act. For the purposes of interpreting that act and any other provision of law which refers to a custodial parent, including but not limited to section 2451 of Title 13, the parent with physical responsibility shall be considered the custodial parent.