Trenton – In an effort to advance period equity in the state, legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz and Senator Vin Gopal, which would require school districts to provide free menstrual products in public schools, cleared the Senate Education Committee today.
“No child should miss valuable class time due to lack of access to menstrual products,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “This legislation will keep students in the classroom by making supplies readily available to those who need them. We must do all that we can to provide equitable education opportunities across the state and this policy will bring us one step closer to that goal.”
The bill, S-1221, would require schools teaching grades six through 12 to provide feminine hygiene products free of charge. Under the bill, feminine hygiene products would have to be available in all school bathrooms. Any costs incurred by the school district as a result of the bill would be covered by the state.
“No student should be left to choose between buying lunch or buying menstrual products, or worse missing school entirely because they cannot afford them,” said Senator Gopal (D-Monmouth). “By requiring that these products be available to all of our students we can help to keep more children in the classroom, especially in our low-income communities.”
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 3-2.