Senator VillanuevaSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago) is aiming to exempt breast pumps and related supplies from all sales taxes with a measure that passed the Senate Revenue Committee Wednesday.

“Tax exemptions on breast pump supplies will empower mothers to prioritize their nursing without having to forsake their economic needs,” Villanueva said. “Breast feeding is a natural part of child care, and reducing the financial obstacles mothers face helps them make healthy decisions that benefit both them and their babies.”

Senate Bill 3634 will help mothers afford important breastfeeding supplies, avoid supplementing feedings with formula and maintain their milk supply by removing the sales tax on these products.

The initiative would align Illinois practices with those of eight other states including New York, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Infant formula is already exempt from sales tax in nearly every state, and Illinois will provide more equitable feeding options to mothers by adding breast pumps and other nursing tools to the list of exemptions.

This issue was brought to Villanueva’s attention by Parity for Pumps, a coalition working to improve access to breast feeding across the nation through advocacy and legislation. Mothers use pumps and supplies to generate and collect breast milk for a variety of reasons. These supplies offer important benefits to mother and child health, a mother’s ability to produce milk and her ability to return to work.

“There is a large number of supplies associated with breastfeeding, and the taxes associated with them poses an unnecessary barrier to mothers,” Villanueva said. “Breast pumps, like infant formula, are a basic necessity that should be easily available to mothers.”

SB 3634 awaits consideration before the full Senate.