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Friday, May 24, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Spokane City Council votes to require baby changing stations in public city buildings

UPDATED: Tue., April 16, 2019, 7:11 a.m.

The U.S. District Courthouse in Spokane has baby changing stations in all women’s and men’s bathrooms, as required by a law passed in 2016 under President Obama. The law applies to all federal buildings. The Spokane City Council on Monday, April 15, 2019 voted to require installation of baby changing tables in restrooms of city buildings. (WILLIAM CAMPBELL / Will Campbell
/The Spokesman-Review)
The U.S. District Courthouse in Spokane has baby changing stations in all women’s and men’s bathrooms, as required by a law passed in 2016 under President Obama. The law applies to all federal buildings. The Spokane City Council on Monday, April 15, 2019 voted to require installation of baby changing tables in restrooms of city buildings. (WILLIAM CAMPBELL / Will Campbell /The Spokesman-Review)

Baby changing stations will soon be available in bathrooms at City Hall, after the Spokane City Council approved a plan to install them later this year.

Councilwoman Karen Stratton, the new law’s sponsor, said she hoped installing baby changing stations in City Hall was the first step to getting them into all city-owned buildings that have spaces open to the public.

“We encourage people to come down to City Hall, we encourage people to get involved in things,” she said, “yet you walk into a bathroom on a public floor and there’s a young mom changing a baby right near the sink. This is something we can do, and it’s the right thing to do.”

City spokeswoman Marlene Feist said City Hall currently doesn’t have any changing stations, but city libraries, pools and many of the parks and sports complexes do have them.

Stratton said baby changing stations were the next step after getting nursing rooms into public buildings for employees. Federal law now requires employers to provide a place for nursing mothers to feed their children. The city has lactation rooms in City Hall and other city-owned buildings. Nursing rooms will also be available in libraries, after the renovations and new buildings were made possible by a voter-approved bond last November..

Stratton said getting nursing rooms into most city buildings has taken time, and the nursing room in City Hall may not be completed until late summer. She said she hopes buildings like the Intermodal Center will soon have changing stations in bathrooms.

The city needs to install at least two baby changing stations a year to be in compliance with the new law and the stations will become part of the city’s capital management plan. Installing them in both bathrooms in City Hall is estimated to cost about $5,000.

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