SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California public schools and colleges would have to stock their restrooms with free menstrual products under legislation sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Democratic Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia's bill that passed Thursday builds on her 2017 law requiring low-income schools in disadvantaged areas to provide students with free menstrual products.
Garcia also had prompted California to follow the lead of at least 10 states by exempting menstrual products from sales taxes, which she said cost women a collective $20 million a year as other health items like erectile dysfunction medication were exempt.
An advocacy group says more than half the states still tax menstrual products as a “luxury” item. Worldwide, many countries have eliminated such taxes, including Britain, Australia, Canada and India.
Garcia's latest bill expands the 2017 law to grades 6 to 12, community colleges and the California State University and University of California systems, starting in the 2022-23 school year.