March 15, 2023

Bill to provide free menstrual products in schools heads to Guv’s desk

A bill to make menstrual products available for free in all public schools will now head to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisahm’s desk.

HB 134 passed the Senate Tuesday night by a vote of 27-13. State Sen. Leo Jaramillo, D-Española, a bill sponsor, spoke of period poverty, which is when low-income women and girls struggle to afford menstrual products and the additional burden for individuals to purchase menstrual products.

The bill passed after a small amount of debate. State Sen. Gregg Schmedes, R-Tijeras, questioned the part of the bill that requires that one boy’s bathroom in every elementary, middle and high school in the state will include a dispensary carrying the products. Schmedes said he would support the bill if it included a single-sex bathroom.

State Sen. David Gallegos, R-Eunice, also took exception over menstrual products being available in boy’s bathrooms.

Jaramillo said stocking the boy’s bathrooms “allows them to bring the products to family members.”

Jaramillo also said New Mexico has the fourth highest percentage of transgender residents in the U.S.

Updated: State Sen. Gregg Schmedes called for a single-sex bathroom, not a unisex one.