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Gov. Pritzker signs laws increasing accessibility to feminine products

The new laws require free tampons and pads in all bathrooms on college campuses, as well as homeless shelters.

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a package of bills on Thursday, August 5 that make feminine hygiene products more financially accessible for women and girls throughout the state.

Under the new laws, public colleges and universities, as well as community colleges, must provide free feminine hygiene products like tampons, pads and liners in all bathrooms on campus. Homeless shelters must also provide free feminine products, if their budget allows.

For colleges and universities, the Board of Trustees will determine the funding needed to meet the requirement.

“This is a normal function of our biology and needs to be seen and treated as such. Menstrual hygiene products should be in restrooms in our public spaces, just like any other hygiene products," said State Representative Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville). "I want to thank the institutions of higher education across the state for coming to the table to work with me to make this happen on their campuses.”

The Governor also signed a bill requiring the Illinois Department of Human Services to apply for a federal waiver that would let recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) use the programs for diapers and feminine products.

The requirement for colleges is effective immediately. The other laws will be effective starting January 1, 2022. 

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