Support Restroom Access For Crohn’s Disease: House Bill 2366

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Update (July 26, 2012): Both the House and Senate have passed the bill, and it’s now on to the Governor’s desk!!! We also were able to have Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, a Crohn’s sufferer, support the bill. (See his letter below). Thank you everyone who lobbied for this important bill! Please email Governor Patrick through this email form.

Attorneys Stephen Marcus & Richard Vetstein Team Up To Pass Restroom Access Legislation

I am honored to join Attorney Stephen Marcus and his charitable foundation, Team Intestinal Fortitude, in support of the Restroom Access Bill, House Bill 2366. Diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, Stephen has been very active over the past two years raising awareness and funds for Crohn’s and Colitis research. We sincerely appreciate your assistance. We are writing today not to ask for any monetary support but rather to ask you to take a few minutes to contact Massachusetts lawmakers to urge them to support a bill that will require retailers and other businesses to provide access to restrooms to sufferers of inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. Individuals experiencing symptoms need access to the most conveniently located restroom without delay.

(Update): Thanks to your efforts the bill has passed the House and now awaits action in the Senate!

ACTION IS NEEDED TODAY!

House Bill 2366, An act relative to public access to private restrooms, was filed by Rep. Louis Kafka on behalf of a Sharon girl with an intestinal disorder who found herself in uncomfortable situations on shopping trips with her mom. Twelve states have passed a similar law and the current draft of this bill addresses many of the concerns from the business community.

The bill is currently pending before the State Senate, and needs another vote in the House before it goes to the Senate. The legislative sessions ends on July 31, 2012 – so immediate action is needed.

Please make a call  or email today to the Senate President and your State Senator. It only takes a moment!

Senate President Therese Murray: 617-722-1500; Therese.Murray@masenate.gov

To find your Senator and his/her contact info., please click on one of the following links:
To search by your town name: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/CityList
To search by your Senators name: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Senate

When calling the Senators, simply tell them that you support House Bill 2366, the Restroom Access Act, and that you urge them to push for its immediate passage. If your Senator indicates that he/she is already supportive, thank them for their support and ask that they contact the Senate President’s office to request that the Senate vote on this matter. If you can personalize your phone call about a family member or friend that may suffer from IBD, even better. Here is some additional information about the bill that may be helpful:

The law requires businesses, with at least two employees on duty, to make employee-only restrooms available to people with inflammatory bowel disease and other medical conditions when a public restroom is not available.  The individuals would need to present an official doctor’s note or approved ID card showing they have an eligible medical condition in order to obtain access, thus preventing just anyone from gaining access.  Businesses are protected from liability if someone accessing the restroom gets hurt.

Most people who have IBD shy away from going out in public for fear of not finding a restroom and having an embarrassing accident.  This bill gives IBD sufferers the freedom to go out in public.  We urge the passage of House Bill 2366 to ensure basic human dignity and decency.

Thank you and if you have any questions or would like to get more involved in our efforts to get this bill passed please do not hesitate to contact us.

Stephen Marcus
Marcus Errico Emmer & Brooks, P.C.
45 Braintree Hill Office Park
Braintree, Massachusetts 02184
781-843-5000
781-849-9799 (fax)
smarcus@meeb.com

www.meeb.com

Richard Vetstein
Vetstein Law Group,P.C.
945 Concord Street
Framingham, MA 01701
rvetstein@vetsteinlawgroup.com

Mayor Menino Letter to Governor Re HB2366 122712

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