June 17 2021
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Story by Lizzy Acker - Story Source
Published on Wednesday March 17, 2021 - 4:38 AM
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Several bills under consideration in the Oregon Legislature would help people who menstruate feel less of the financial strain of paying for period products.

Senate Bills 717 and 521 and House Bill 3294 all address menstrual products in various forms.

SB 717 would provide $10 per month to people who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to "purchase personal hygiene items."

SB 717 has the support of the Oregon Food Bank and Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon.

"SB 717 would make critical investments to improve SNAP by adding $10/month for the purchasing of personal hygienic items. Many of the 1,400 food pantries Oregon Food Bank serves across the state stock such items for this very reason," wrote Matt Newell-Ching, public policy manager for the Oregon Food Bank, in written testimony in favor of the bill.

SB 521 would exempt businesses from paying "commercial activity tax" on sales of period products as well as diapers, formula and prescription drugs.

The commercial activity tax was passed in 2019 to help Oregon fund education.

The third bill, HB 3294, would require all public schools to provide pads and tampons to students at no charge.