Two democratic state legislators proposed a bill Thursday that would allow mothers to breastfeed in any public place. State Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, and Rep. Sheldon Wasserman, D-Milwaukee, introduced the bill after Risser heard from a constituent of his. "[The constituent] was breastfeeding in a shopping center [and] was asked to leave the area and go to the women's bathroom," Risser said. "I checked into this situation and found a number of other states that already have access to such legislation, and it seemed to me that it was a reasonable bill." Wasserman, co-author of "The Right to Breastfeed Act," said many women in Wisconsin fear harassment when nursing, and added that the bill will include punishment for such behavior. "We encourage breastfeeding," Wasserman said. "And if anyone bothers people breastfeeding, they can receive a ticket up to $200." Not everyone in the state supports the bill, however. Julaine Appling, executive director of the Family Research Institute of Wisconsin, said nursing is important for children, but it should be done with discretion. "Breastfeeding is very natural. However, I don't think that we need to have legislation that gives special sanction to it," Appling said. "Just because something is normal and natural — it doesn't mean we have to condone [it]." Racine resident Carrie Richmond, who protested restricting public breastfeeding last year, agrees with the new legislation and said it should not be an issue. "It only makes logical sense," Richmond said. "I personally don't see why babies shouldn't be allowed to be breastfed anymore than you would be allowed to give them a bottle. Feeding is feeding." Richmond protested with 20 women and children July 1, 2006 when a Racine woman was told to feed her baby in the bathroom of a Victoria Secret because a changing room was unavailable. Despite previous attempts to pass similar legislation in Wisconsin, Wasserman said he is very positive the bill will advance. "Now [Risser] is the president of the Senate, and when you're the president, your bills are heard immediately," Wasserman said. In the coming weeks, the Right to Breastfeed Act will be referred to and discussed by the Senate Health Committee.