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House bill clears the way to the restroom for people with certain medical conditions…

Washington’s House of Representatives today passed House Bill 1138, which would require retailers to let customers with certain medical conditions use the store’s restroom, even if it’s not a public restroom.

Patterned after an Illinois law, the bill is aimed at people with inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s disease. The conditions — which are incurable — can cause crippling pain and a very urgent need to use the bathroom.

“Oftentimes, you have no warning or little warning,” said Rep. Marko Liias, D-Mukilteo, the bill’s prime sponsor.

Patients would need a statement from their doctor and the bill includes some safety provisions for store workers and merchandise. The bill passed 90-7.