If you've ever been in dire need of a public restroom, you'll be able to relate to this: a New York state law begins in 2018 which makes it mandatory for businesses to give you access.

The Empire State is following a trend, based on an Illinois bill called "Ally's Law," named for a young woman with Crohn's Disease, who had a humiliating public incident after being blocked from a bathroom.

The law, which follows initiatives in other U.S. states, will mandate that people with Crohn's or other bowel issues get the green light to utilize employee-only bathrooms. As for businesses, here are the criteria they'll have to abide by to open those restrooms:

(A) During business hours, (B) when there are at least two employees on hand, and (C) if use of the restroom would not create a risk of any kind.

The pending law is already creating some discourse and raising questions among Central New Yorkers.

Does that mean you’ll have to prove your medical condition? Not necessarily, but your doctor can issue you a card.

Shouldn’t this law make it easier for ALL of us, even without special conditions, to use public restrooms in emergencies? Does this infringe on the rights of a business to protect itself against irresponsible use of its toilets by careless people who cause extensive and expensive damages? Should cities, towns, and municipalities be responsible for maintaining public restrooms for everyone's use?

Please feel free to add to the discussion with responses to these questions or further questions.


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