New law requires Washington schools to provide free menstrual products to students

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Public and private schools in Washington will soon be required to provide free menstrual products to students. 

House Bill 1273 was signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee on Monday. 

The law 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. 

The law also applies 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. 

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