While the bill has not made it through the entire process yet, members of the Louisiana House did vote 79-17 to budget money for menstrual products for students at schools in our state according to Louisiana Radio Network.

This piece of legislation was debated last year, and it failed in the Senate. Since it has now received House passage it will next be debated in a Senate committee.

The outline of the bill is to provide dispensers for menstrual supplies for the first year to public schools throughout the state and to also provide menstrual supplies including tampons and pads.

It likely will be debated heavily in the Senate, and if you never had to worry about being able to pay for supplies then you might wonder why this issue is being discussed in the legislature. The answer is truancy.

One of the people to speak in support of House Bill 117 last month was Lacey Gero. She is a member of the group Alliance for Period Supplies. In part of her testimony, she had the following to say,

Two in five women struggle to purchase period products due to a lack of income. This is called period poverty.

She adds what happens at that point is that young ladies will simply stay home because they are too embarrassed to go to school without sanitary products. One survey showed an average of one out of every four students will stay home because they have nothing to use.

New Orleans Representative Aimee Freeman is the author of the bill. One provision of the bill would also allow each school to decide where the products will be kept. She says the point is to make the products accessible to anyone who needs them.

Governor John Bel Edwards signed a bill last year eliminating the sales tax on such products.

If the Senate approves the legislation, and Governor Edwards signs it, Louisiana would become the 12th state to provide feminine hygiene products for public schools.

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