Bill requiring baby changing stations in N.J. restrooms advances
Any new bathrooms in rest stops, gas stations, and county buildings would be required to install baby diaper changing stations under a bill the Assembly Appropriations Committee advanced Monday.
The measure, A857, requires certain buildings to include at least one diaper changing station in at least one women’s restroom and one men’s restroom each, or in a unisex family bathroom.
The requirement would only apply to bathrooms that are being newly constructed or undergoing substantial remodeling, according to the bill.
Buildings with Group A or Group M occupancy would fall under the bill, if it continues advancing and is signed by Gov. Phil Murphy. Group A includes buildings for social, religious or recreational functions, and Group M includes stores or buildings where goods are sold to the public, including department stores, markets, gas stations and retail stores.
It would also apply to public buildings owned by the state or local government, like county and municipal buildings, higher education facilities, board of education buildings and some schools.
Similar laws exist in California, Florida, New York, Illinois and Arizona.
Casinos, nightclubs and bars would not fall under the requirements.
The Department of Community Affairs set aside $500,000 for buildings to install the stations, and the Commissioner of Community Affairs would set rules and regulations, such as placement and required signs pointing out the station.
Owners of buildings who violate the required installation would be subject to a $500 fine.
The bill moved out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee after receiving unanimous votes, and heads to the full Assembly. Its Senate companion bill, S691, has not been heard in the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee.
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