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California May Soon Require Schools To Provide Free Menstrual Products

Alan Cordova / Flickr

Alan Cordova / Flickr

The California Legislature advanced two bills Wednesday affecting public schools in the state.

The California Senate approved a bill that would require public schools that serve older low-income students to stock free menstrual products in girls’ bathrooms.

Democratic Sen. Holly Mitchell says students should never have to go without tampons and pads because they can’t afford them.

“We’ve heard too many stories of young girls that use socks or newspaper in lieu of these costly items when they lack the funds needed to purchase these products,” Mitchell said.

The measure originally covered all public schools – as well as community colleges and CSU campuses. But it was scaled back to rein in state costs, and now only covers schools that serve low-income students in grades six through 12.

It passed the Senate Wednesday without opposition and now returns to the Assembly for a final vote.

The state Senate also approved a bill that would eliminate the authority of school districts to allow guns on campuses. Currently, a superintendent can issue written permission to “concealed carry” permit holders on a case-by-case basis.

Democratic Sen. Nancy Skinner says the measure has been amended to address concerns of law enforcement and hunting groups.

“The bill only removes the exemption that allowed concealed weapons to be brought on school grounds by non-law enforcement individuals,” Skinner said.

Although the bill has opposition from gun rights groups and passed along party lines, no senator spoke against the measure during debate.

It now returns to the Assembly after passing there by just two votes earlier this year.

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