Freely accessible menstrual products will be available to menstruators in middle and high schools across the state of Georgia.
Lawmakers allocated $1.5 million in the 2020 budget, which begins July 1, that will go to schools and community centers in low-income areas across the state.
A spokeswoman with the Georgia Department of Education said they are working to create a grant program to determine the best way to distribute the money during the next school year.
Schools have already started working towards implementing programs with Aunt Flow.
An additional $500,000 will go to the state’s county health departments to provide menstrual products to low-income women. Officials at the Department of Public Health also were working on establishing guidelines for the money to be distributed.
While many states have moved to eliminate the tax on feminine hygiene products, Georgia has taken a different approach. Proposed by House Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, instead of eliminating the state’s 4% tax on menstrual products, the state will allocate part of the $9million in tax revenue to offering free menstrual products in schools.
Jones, a Milton Republican, said allocating $1 million to the Georgia Department of Education more directly addresses the need of young girls missing school because their family doesn’t have the money to purchase menstrual pads or tampons.
According to an estimate from the state Department of Audits and Accounts, waiving the tax on menstrual products would decrease state revenue by about $9 million in 2020. The department estimated that women and girls between the ages of 10 and 54 spend about $63 each year on menstrual products.
By the end of last year, 10 states had specifically exempted menstrual products from sales taxes.
While the $1.5 million allocated for menstrual products is one-time money and not guaranteed to be included in future state budgets, both Jones and Schofield said they are hopeful it will become a recurring expenditure.