LANSING, Mich., Apr. 28, 2021 — State Rep. Lori Stone (D-Warren) held a press conference earlier today to unveil her legislation, House Bill 4720, which would require the installation of adult-sized, height-adjustable changing stations in applicable public restrooms. The bill is named Liam’s Law after the son of activist Jessica Gomez. Ms. Gomez has been a longtime advocate for more appropriate accommodations for individuals living with disabilities of any age and joined Rep. Stone at the press conference this morning. It will also create a more modern standard handicap-accessible restrooms in Michigan, promoting inclusion, access and equity for all individuals.
“All Michiganders deserve to have their needs met and dignity respected,” said Stone. “For too many years, our neighbors with disabilities have been ignored or forgotten. Today, we start moving toward making this a more inclusive state for all of us — where everyone is treated with the dignity and respect, they deserve. These safe, convenient tables are a much-needed step to protect Michiganders with disabilities from harm while respecting their health and privacy.”
The law would apply to certain buildings or structures constructed on or before Jan. 1, 2024, or renovated after Jan. 1, 2025, that serve 1,500 or more persons per day. Applicable facilities may include state-owned buildings, exhibition or entertainment venues, museums and libraries, parks and zoos, airports, bus stations, interstate rest stops, schools, hospitals and more.
“As a parent and primary caregiver of a child living with special needs whose health condition requires the need for incontinence supplies such as diapering, I strongly believe that having access to universally-sized height-adjustable changing tables in public restrooms across the state of Michigan would be life-changing and eliminate so many barriers for families such as ours,” said Gomez. “It has been said that disability often has more to do with the individual’s environment than it does with the person themselves, and eliminating these barriers in our restrooms would make the future of Michigan a more welcoming state to both visit and live in.”
Amy Maes of MI Disability Network also joined Rep. Stone and Ms. Gomez. HB 4720 was referred to the Regulatory Reform Committee and is awaiting a hearing. A one-pager further explaining the legislation is attached to the release.