Bill requiring schools to provide free menstrual products heads to Inslee’s desk

A bill in the Washington legislature would eliminate the sales tax on feminine hygiene products

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A bill that would require both public and private schools to provide free menstrual products to students could soon become law. 

House Bill 1273 has passed both the Washington House and Senate. 

The bill states that schools must provide menstrual hygiene products in all gender-neutral and female bathrooms by the beginning of the 2022-23 school year.

If a school building serving students in grades six through twelve does not have a gender-neutral bathroom, then they must be available in at least one bathroom accessible to male students or in a school health room available to all students. For schools that serve students in grades three through five, schools must provide these products in a school health room or another location designated by the principal. 

If passed, the bill would also apply to colleges and universities. 

HB 1273 defines “menstrual hygiene products” as sanitary napkins, tampons or similar items and states schools, colleges and universities must bear the cost of supplying them. All of these schools may seek grants or partner with nonprofits or community-based organizations to fulfill the obligation. 

The bill now heads to Governor Jay Inslee’s desk. 

RELATED: Inslee signs legislation removing sales tax from period products