EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (WREX) – Free feminine hygiene products will soon be appearing at public universities and community colleges in Illinois.
Governor JB Pritzker signed three laws making feminine hygiene products more accessible to women and girls in Illinois.
The three laws, House Bill 641, House Bill 155 and House Bill 310, remove all financial barriers that previously prevented individuals from purchasing hygiene products.
House Bill 641
HB 641 requires all public universities and community colleges in the state to provide free feminine hygiene products in campus bathrooms.
The college and university board of directors will determine the funding needed to meet the newly created requirement.
HB 641 is effective immediately.
HB 155 demands that the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) request a waiver from the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service, which would pave the way for beneficiaries of the aid program Supplementary Nutrition (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) to use both programs for diapers and menstrual hygiene products.
Currently, the federal waiver is not available for states, and feminine hygiene products are currently not authorized for SNAP or WIC. The administration will continue to advocate for the federal government to create a waiver to help ease the financial burden of thousands of women across the state.
HB 155 comes into force on January 1, 2022.
Bill 310 House
HB 310, the Feminine Hygiene Products for Homeless Act, requires all homeless shelters providing temporary housing assistance to women and youth to provide free items such as sanitary napkins, tampons and panty liners, if their budget allows.
HB 310 comes into force on January 1, 2022.
“I have made it my top priority to ensure that our state is at the forefront of protecting women’s rights and health – all the more important as attacks on reproductive rights escalate in across the country, ”Governor JB Pritzker said. “With the three bills that I will be signing today, we are reducing the burden of menstrual poverty and making these very difficult personal choices a little more rare in Illinois. Because there is nothing to be ashamed of when discussing health equity for a mother, daughter or sister. Once again, Illinois demonstrates what it means to stand up for women’s health by protecting their dignity.