Bill excusing nursing moms from jury duty advances

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SALT LAKE CITY — Nursing mothers could be exempt from jury service under a bill that has advanced to the Utah House of Representatives.

Late Wednesday afternoon, the House Judiciary Committee gave a favorable recommendation to HB154.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Mike McKell, R-Spanish Fork, said he introduced the legislation after a constituent wrote him a letter explaining that a judge would not excuse her from the jury pool after she explained she was breastfeeding her child. She spent most of a day in court during the selection process but was not selected for the jury.

"I know it’s a strange bill, but I think it fixes a problem I didn’t even know existed," McKell said.

Lacy Keller Smith, a mother and postpartum doula, a support person for new parents and babies, urged the committee's support of the bill.

"This bill is really, really good for moms and really good for babies," she said.

— Marjorie Cortez

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