WA State Bathroom Access Bill Becomes Law

by Kathy Davis on May 12, 2009

Our boy Mike McCready has consistently been a vocal advocate to raise awareness about Crohn’s Disease and related difficulties. Back in March, we reported that Mike testified in support of a Washington State bill HR1138 calling for bathroom access for those who suffer from medical conditions, such as Crohn’s, and we were glad when it was passed by both Washington State House and Senate bodies.   The final hurdle, approval by the state governor, was cleared and the bill was signed into law.  This post  from House Democrat blog The Advance, excerpted below,  details the signing – and Mike was there to witness the signing and see his support coming to fruition.  Well done, all – with much gratitude from the wife of a Crohn’s sufferer!

Monday, May 11, 2009

What does Pearl Jam have to do with how a bill becomes a law?

A year ago, Lois Fink of Edmonds had no idea that her email to Rep. Marko Liias would result in legislation signed by the Governor, or a run-in with fame. But today she received the pen used to sign House Bill 1138 into law with Pearl Jam guitarist, Mike McCready at her side.
House Bill 1138 will allow people with certain medical conditions access to employee-only restrooms in retail establishments. It’s a simple idea that affords people basic human dignity and allows them to feel better about venturing out to shop in our state’s retail stores. Lois suffers from Crohn’s Disease, which can often result in an immediate need to use the restroom. She was inspired by the story of Ally Bain, a teenager from Illinois who suffered a Crohn’s attack while shopping in with her mother and was denied access to an employee restroom. The pain and humiliation of her experience motivated Ally to push for “Ally’s Law” – a restroom access bill that passed in Illinois a few years ago.

Also a longtime Crohn’s sufferer, Mike McCready drove especially to Olympia with his wife, Ashley O’Connor, to attend the bill signing. Mike is a vocal supporter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. He came to Olympia earlier this year to testify in favor of the bill. The issue is important to him because his life has been so greatly affected by the disease, and he hopes that young people especially can avoid the embarrassment that often comes with it.

Thanks to Lois, Mike and members of the Northwest chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, thousands of people in Washington with medical conditions don’t have to worry about having embarrassing accidents in retail shops.
Mike at signing of HR1138 5.11.09

Mike at signing of HR1138 5.11.09

Mike and Lois talk to reporters

Mike and Lois talk to reporters

Kathy Davis ( Twitter: @CrookedArm23 )
A Bay-Area based entrepreneur, co-editor Kathy conceives and writes her share of TFT’s articles and sections. She was co-editor/co-founder of one of the first Pearl Jam fanzines "Footsteps" (1992-1997). Kathy’s first Pearl Jam show was at the Bridge School Benefit on November 1, 1992.

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