State Representative Martha Stevens of Columbia says she wants to end “period poverty” in Missouri’s public and charter schools.
She’s proposing to require that the schools – grades 6 through 12 – provide tampons and pads in their bathrooms at no charge to students. Stevens, a Democrat, says research shows one in five menstruating teens struggle to afford period products or are not able to buy them at all.
The state’s cost for providing the supplies would be about one million dollars, but some fiscal conservatives might have a problem with the government potentially digging into its checkbook. Four states have passed similar measures – California, New York, New Hampshire, and Illinois.