The Senate Education Committee discussed legislation (SF3052) Monday that would provide free menstrual products for Minnesota students. The proposal is the result of advocacy from students to address the inability to access hygiene products, referred to as period poverty, which has affected almost a quarter of students according to nationwide survey data.
“Students in our schools, no matter their income, should have access to the products they need for their health, hygiene, and wellbeing in the classroom, including menstrual products,” said Senator Steve Cwodzinski (DFL-Eden Prairie) chief author of the legislation. “Just like supplying paper towels, toilet paper, soap, and other basic hygiene needs, we must ensure equal access to menstrual products that students rely on. It’s the right thing to do.”
This bill requires school districts to provide menstrual products to students free of charge, available in restrooms used by students in grades 4 to 12. The total cost of the bill is approximately $1.9 million and would provide schools with an additional $2 per pupil in total operating capital aid to pay for this requirement.
Today’s hearing was the first hearing on the legislation in the Senate. The House version of the bill, HF 2750, is awaiting its second committee hearing. At the conclusion of the hearing, the bill was laid over for possible inclusion in the omnibus supplemental education budget.