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Bill aims to make diaper-changing stations more accessible to dads

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Madison, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A new bill introduced this week would require newly built or heavily renovated public and commercial buildings to have diaper-changing stations in every restroom.

Oftentimes, fathers and male guardians find a lack of options in men’s restrooms.

“We’re parents, we’re dads so we have to do the same thing mom has to do so diapers need to get changed, dads need to do it as well,” said James Rogers, a father from Kenosha.

Even though Rogers’ diaper-changing days are long behind him, he recalls the challenges of the parental task all too well.

“I had twins,” Rogers told CBS 58. “So mom had to take one and I had to take the other. Of course, there were always changing stations in the women’s bathrooms but never in the men’s though.”

The bill introduced at the State Capitol aims to address that problem.

“I’ve had situations where I’ve had to change my baby on the floor,” said Rep. Jonathan Brostoff (D – Milwaukee), who is one of the authors.

Brostoff along with Rep. David Crowley (D – Milwaukee) and Sen. Chris Larson (D – Milwaukee) are all fathers and are now pushing to get the bill made into law. They believe it can have a profound impact.

“I can speak from experience,” said Brostoff holding his son. “Having access to a changing station completely flips the script and is wildly helpful when you need one and we just want to make sure that everyone has that access and that new dads aren’t left out in the cold as it were.”

Brostoff noted that the bill only applies to newly constructed or heavily renovated buildings with public access and that it is a one-time cost and therefore not a major financial burden.

He and the rest of the authors hope to build bipartisan support as the bill moves forward in the spring.

“Being a new parent is not a republican thing, it’s not a democratic thing it’s a human thing and I think this is something we can all agree on.”

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