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Student Government introduces legislation that will bring free feminine hygiene products to campus

A box of tampons
A box of tampons can range from $5 up to $20.

Photo by Chelsea Yohn | Staff Photographer

A Student Government senator introduced legislation that will bring hygiene-related products to campus in response to the growing need for free feminine products.

Sen. Elijah Miller initiated The Menstrual Hygiene Availability Act.

This is really huge,” Miller said. “It is really good for Texas State University to spearhead this because this movement has definitely swept across the country and been introduced at several prestigious universities already.”

The goal of the legislation is to facilitate convenience and cost for female students on campus that don’t readily have access to feminine hygiene products. The act targets the freshmen population because of rules that requires them to live on campus.

Miller will meet with Emilio Carranco M.D., director of the Student Health Center,

in the coming weeks to discuss a timeframe and budget for implementing the legislation.

Isis Mares, English freshman, is proud Texas State is introducing new legislation that will positively impact female students on campus.

“I really appreciate that this is happening,” Mares said. “Females don’t control when (their) menstrual cycle begins. …If it starts during class, we can feel reassured that we have a back up.”

According to womenshealth.gov, the average woman gets a period for about 40 years of her life. The costs related to hygienic maintenance can be staggering. Maintaining feminine hygiene is expensive and the “pink tax,”  a value-added tax that comes with the purchase of female-branded products, makes matters worse. A 2010 consumer report found that the “pink tax” on hygiene products could be up to 50 percent more expensive for women than for men. There is often no discernable difference between products except fragrance or color.

To fix the problem, Republican Representative Luanne Van Werven and Democratic Representative Derek Stanford introduced HB 1265 -2017-18. The bill provides tax relief to females by exempting feminine hygiene products from retail sales and use tax. The bill is currently under committee review in The House of Representatives.

As of now, Miller’s legislation has not received an implementation date. It might be in full effect during fall of 2018 or spring of 2019 academic semesters.


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