Miami – Florida is giving new mothers a break from jury duty.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed House Bill 461 into law which excuses women from jury duty if they’ve given birth within six months.

They must show proof to be exempt.

The new law takes effect July 1.

State Rep. Carolina Amesty (R-Windermere) sponsored the legislation which garnered unanimous support in both chambers.

“Strong and healthy families should be at the heart of our state’s policymaking,” she said. “In the Sunshine State, we’re committed to helping women bond with their babies during these invaluable early moments.”

State Sen. Erin Grall, a Republican from Vero Beach, filed the Senate version of the bill.

Grall, a lawyer by trade, said the new law will financially benefit businesses employing mothers of infants and the mothers themselves.

State Rep. Gantt, a Democrat from Miami and also a lawyer, offered an amendment to the bill which Amesty accepted to address the authenticity of a birth certificate for new mothers to get a pass from jury duty.

Amesty told Gantt she would amend her bill to establish a timeframe for submitting the request to be exempt and a process to make sure birth certificates are authentic.

Before the signing of the bill, several motherhood support groups campaigned for it saying new mothers were placed under stress deciding between performing their civic duty or taking care of their new infants, or leaving them in the care of someone else.

Adding to the stress was that skipping jury duty without a valid excuse can result in a fine and is punishable by up to 10 days in jail.

New mothers were turned down in their request to skip jury duty unless they had a medical or family emergency or if they were a member of the armed forces, police officers and firefighters and other public government officers.

Florida law already allows excusals, upon request, for expectant mothers and parents who are not employed fulltime and have custody of children under 6 years old.

The measure builds on other accommodation for new mothers in the judicial system.

Last year, the Legislature approved a bill requiring many courthouses in the state to provide free, clean and private lactation rooms to address the needs of new mothers and creating a supportive environment for families while ensuring the functioning of the justice system.

Florida’s new law is similar to the legislation in Ohio, which lawmakers approved earlier this month.

Breastfeeding mothers can be excused from jury duty.