NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City is becoming the nation’s first city to require free tampons and sanitary pads in public schools, homeless shelters and jails.
Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the measures Wednesday. The City Council approved them last month.
“This is just the right thing to do, it’s common sense,” de Blasio said during the signing event at the High School for Violin and Dance in the Bronx.
City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said giving women access to these products is a no-brainer and long overdue.
“I remember several times going to the bathroom during the school year and suddenly feeling terrible. Terrible due to unexpected emergencies. I needed a pad,” 11th grader Mayelin Sanchez said, adding now young ladies do not have to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed anymore.
Schools, shelters and lockups already provide the supplies for free, to some extent. Supporters say New York is pioneering by making the requirement law in a range of settings, instead of more changeable policy.
Those include restrooms that serve 300,000 sixth-grade-and-older schoolgirls, plus shelters that house 23,000 women. The measures also add the force of law to jail standards on sanitary supplies.
The supplies are expected to cost $2.5 million a year. The city budget is $82 billion.
The jail provisions take effect immediately; the others in six months.
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