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Colorado Governor signs bill mandating free menstrual products in schools by 2028

New legislation ensured access to essential menstrual products for all middle and high school students, promoting educational equity and health

On June 5, Colorado Governor Jared Polis enacted House Bill 1164, titled “Free Menstrual Products to Students”. This new legislation mandated that by 2028, all middle and high schools in Colorado must provide free menstrual products to students. Governor Polis was accompanied at the signing ceremony by the bill’s sponsors: Rep. Brianna Titone, Rep. Jenny Willford, Sen. Janet Buckner, Sen. Faith Winter and Diane Cushman Neal, founder and president of Justice Necessary. 

“This bill creates more access to women’s health products, and I am proud that the state is stepping up to ensure all students can succeed and thrive in the classroom without worrying about paying for the care products they need”, stated Governor Polis. 

For the 2024-2025 fiscal year, the bill stipulated that the general assembly would allocate an additional $100,000 to the Menstrual Hygiene Products Grant program, raising the total to $200,000. School districts can apply for these grants to cover the cost of products or dispensers, with rural schools being explicitly eligible for funding. 

“By signing this bill today, Governor Polis is ensuring every student across the state can go to school without worrying about when your period might arrive, or if you have the products you need to manage it”, commented Diane Cushman Neal. “I am proud to live in a state that ensures students can attend class without the worry of having the necessary products to manage their periods, because access to period products, just is necessary”. 

According to the Colorado Teen Period Poverty Study 2024, 90% of teens who experience periods have started unexpectedly in public without proper products, and 59% report difficulties in affording or accessing menstrual products. This issue significantly impacts the education of students who menstruate. 

“We’ve taken a significant step forward today by ensuring that our schools are places of equity and dignity. Providing period products in middle and high school restrooms is more than a matter of convenience. It’s a fundamental issue for ensuring that every student has what they need to succeed. This legislation marks a commitment to removing barriers and upholding the rights of all our students to a disruption-free education”, said Rep. Willford. 

Sen. Buckner added: “This act ensures that any student, regardless of income, has access to the menstrual health products they need to be successful in school. It’s our responsibility to remove any barriers in education that stand in the way of this fundamental right, empowering every student to reach their fullest potential”. 

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