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Ruiz, Singleton Bill to Require Free Menstrual Products in School Bathrooms Clears Committee

Trenton – Legislation sponsored by Senate Education Chair Senator M. Teresa Ruiz and Senator Troy Singleton, which would require certain school districts to provide feminine hygiene products to students, passed the Senate Education Committee.

“Despite being a necessity, menstrual products can be costly, especially for a family struggling to make ends meet,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “When parents can’t afford them their daughters will often stay home from school, missing valuable time in the classroom. This legislation would prevent girls from taking off because of their period by ensuring they can get the products they need without having to pay for them.”

The bill, S-3645, would require feminine hygiene products be in certain schools teaching students in grades six through 12. School districts would be required to stock schools if 40 percent or more of the school population reside in households with a total income of 1.85 times the federal poverty level or less.

“It is important that our children are in school, in the classroom learning, as much as possible. Every time we discover a cause of absenteeism we work to determine how we can address that issue in the legislature and this is no different,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “No student should be missing school because they have their period and cannot afford menstrual products. It is completely unacceptable that that is happening anywhere in the world, let alone here in New Jersey.”

Under the bill, feminine hygiene products would have to be available in at least 50 percent of the school bathrooms free of charges. Any costs incurred by the school district as a result of the bill would be covered by the state.

The bill was released from committee by a vote of 5-1 and next heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriation Committee for further consideration.