Some DFL lawmakers are hoping to require school districts across Minnesota to provide free menstrual products for students.
The House bill, which passed through the House Education Policy Committee last week, would require public and charter schools to provide students access to free menstrual products in student restrooms for grades 4-12.
Chief author Rep. Sandra Feist, DFL-New Brighton, said the effort arose from Minnesota high school students, who have advocated locally and at the Legislature for free products. Feist said providing free menstrual products would reduce absenteeism, as some students without products miss school when they are on their periods. Feist said she also sought to normalize the conversation around periods.
“We ensure that students have toilet paper, paper towels, soap and Band-Aids, and we should ensure that students have period products as well,” Feist told the House Education Policy Committee last week.
The committee voted along party lines to pass the bill, which is currently in the House Education Finance Committee.
A similar bill that stalled last year was estimated to cost the state about $2 million annually; the current bill has no cost estimate yet.
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