Update on HB20-1131 Menstrual Hygiene Products in Schools aka the Period Project

An Update on HB20-1131 Menstrual Hygiene Products in Schools Program aka the Period Project!

Support Jeffco Kids and Jeffco PTA have both been strong supporters of this bill.  As a matter-of-fact, as we’ve expressed in a recent post, we are proud to support our Arvada West students from the Arvada West Intersectional Feminists Club who worked hard to bring this forward with the help of Representative Brianna Titone.

http://www.supportjeffcokids.org/support-for-menstrual-hygiene-products-in-schools/

We also want to be clear about what the bill does and how it does it – especially since we are hopeful other members of the community will step forward Thursday to express support for this bill.

The Fiscal Note, provided by the Legislative Council Staff, was only published recently – January 28,2020.  http://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2020A/bills/fn/2020a_hb1131_00.pdf

We initially stated that the bill “does not pay for the machines, installation or products…”

We were incorrect, and want to make sure you all have an opportunity to read the Fiscal Note, and understand how this legislation is to be funded.

This legislation has a Fiscal Note of $467,633 for FY2020-2021. Dollars allocated for the grant itself in the amount of $325,000 will be allocated in FY2020-2021 only.   Additional expenditures to the state are for personnel and administrative costs.  For FY2021-2022, the expenditure numbers drop significantly to $37,733 to pay for a .5 FTE.

It’s important to point out, the bill “allows” for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to seek private gifts, grants and donations for this program.  We can safely state that Representative Titone has been actively encouraging donations for the program – any time she’s discussed the bill to a community gathering.

As we mentioned in our previous post from earlier last month, we don’t think much about this when it’s accessible to us, or if we are not in need of it,  but especially for those students who do not have access, it’s both a form of gender bias and another huge inequity in our public school system.

If you are a grown woman out of school, a parent with a daughter in school, or in school presently, you can relate.  To quote the students directly:

“…access to feminie hygiene products are a health concern and a right, not a luxury. When students don’t have feminine hygiene products on hand, they’re forced to face extreme discomfort and potentially lost educational time asking friends, the nurse, etc.  Period poverty is a real issue – 1 in 5 American girls have left school or missed school due to the lack of menstrual products (2018 Always study on period poverty).

About the bill:

  • It establishes a grant program.
  • It pays for the machines, installation or products, and allows for a grant program to open the door so that schools or school districts may apply for grants that would pay for the installation of feminie hygiene products and the products, at no cost to the students.
  • This is for students in a public schools (or school district) and prioritizes those schools that are designated as high poverty
  • And grant recipients must provide to students regardless of student gender identity.

The bill is scheduled to be heard in the House Education Committee on Thursday, February 6 at 1:30 pm.