ISSA Period Project Update—Period Legislation Gains MomentumMarch 13, 2023
Welcome to ISSA’s Period Project Update. This communication from ISSA will keep you up to date on the association’s efforts to end period poverty through our advocacy and education. We encourage you sign up for this monthly update.
ISSA Launches Period Poverty Action Center
As part of ISSA’s End Period Poverty landing page and on ISSA.com advocates can now email, call, and/or tweet all of their federal and state legislators on pending legislation regarding increasing access to period products in facilities in less than a minute. Please take a moment to let your members of Congress and state elected officials know by going to our action center. Learn more
The Menstrual Equity for All Act: A Handbook for California Public School Districts
Period.org in partnership with many other groups and collaborators, released an implementation guide for California. Being one of the first states to implement such a law, there have been many questions from school districts and schools about how best to implement it. This document serves as a roadmap on how to comply with California’s Menstrual Equity for All Act. Learn more
ISSA State Legislative Activity Tracker
ISSA is tracking legislation regarding increased access in away-from-home facilities in all 50 states. Feel free to bookmark this link as it should update as we continue to track. Let us know if we are missing any. Learn more
Recently, the New Mexico House and Senate Education Committee overwhelmingly passed a menstrual product requirement for schools bill. The bill is expected to go to the full Senate for a vote. If passed, this bill requires some school bathrooms to provide menstrual products free of charge and appropriates US$3 million annually to school districts to implement the requirement. Learn more
The West Virginia Senate and House Education Committee passed WV SB 489 requiring all county boards of education shall make feminine hygiene products available in grades three through 12 to female students attending public school. It instructs these county boards of education to “develop a policy for the provision of feminine hygiene products at no cost and in a discrete manner to female students”. The bill goes to the House Finance Committee before going to the full House. ISSA sent a letter to members of the House Education Committee prior to its due-pass recommendation.
California has scheduled a Governmental Organization Committee hearing for (SB 59) for March 14. This bill would further expand their requirement to state owned and leased buildings, local government buildings, and hospitals receiving state funding. The sponsor’s office is asking for supporting groups to sign a letter of support for the bill https://calegislation.lc.ca.gov/Advocates/. If you are a California resident or have employees who are, please have them contact their legislator and consider proving public testimony.
In Minnesota, MN SF 50 and MN HF 44 continues to move through the committee process. The bills would require public and charter schools to provide students access to free menstrual products in student restrooms for grades 4-12. If you are in Minnesota, you can reach out to your elected officials here.
The Florida legislative session started on March 7 and there is already House and Senate bills to put menstrual care products in schools (FL SB 334/ FL HB 389). The bills are supported by the Coalition Against Period Poverty. Learn more
On March 9, the Idaho House Education Committee voted to print/introduce a school access bill. In Idaho, the committee must approve the introduction of bills before they are formally introduced. This is a major step and the first time such legislation has been introduced in Idaho. ISSA sent a letter to the committee and has been working closely with Days for Girls and Idaho Period Project on the legislation.
- Kimberly-Clark Supports Australian Period Poverty Program
- International Paper Partners With Proctor & Gamble’s (P&G) Always(R) to #EndPeriodPoverty
- Why CVS Health helps pay the tax on period products
- Momentum builds to ban “period taxes”
Alliance for Period Supplies works to break the cycle of period poverty in the U.S. At the Alliance for Period Supplies, we’re turning “that time of the month” into a time for change.
The Alliance for Period Supplies – a program of National Diaper Bank Network – consists of more than 120 independent nonprofits working in local communities to #EndPeriodPoverty. Each organization collects, warehouses, and distributes period supplies directly to local agencies and/or individuals, and serves as a trusted community resource and advocate for individuals, children and families who struggle to afford material basic necessities, including menstrual products.
A core mission of Alliance for Period Supplies is to raise awareness of period poverty, a recognized public health issue. In addition, the organization and its members work to empower people to advocate for changes in law and policy to address period poverty at the local, state, and national level. The Alliance for Period Supplies engages in “real talk” and supports efforts to end state and local sales taxes on period products and advocates for legislation to fully fund period products being made available, free of cost, in schools, shelters, prisons and public buildings.
Each year, the Alliance for Period Supplies invites its members, fellow advocates, businesses and elected officials to participate in Period Poverty Awareness Week scheduled for May 22 – 28, 2023. Visit allianceforperiodsupplies.org to learn more.
Please contact us with any ISSA government affairs questions and/or comments that you may have. And thank you for supporting our advocacy efforts. You can find out more about ISSA’s End Period Poverty campaign and contribute here.