Not so long after the GOP presidential nominee blamed his inability to answer tough questions on the possibility his questioner was menstruating, another Republican is taking strides to make period week a little bit easier.
On Friday, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signed a law ending sales taxes on feminine hygiene products such as pads and tampons. This makes Illinois the third state this year to eliminate the tax, following New York and Connecticut. Similar legislation has been introduced in 12 other states.
“This is just the start of a conversation about the unfair ‘pink taxes’ women face as they buy products priced higher than similar ones marketed to men or, in this case, as they have to spend on products that men don’t,” said Illinois state Sen. Melinda Bush (D), the bill’s sponsor.
“Pink taxes” refer to the extra funds women spend on certain products and services ― such as feminine hygiene products, razors, haircuts, insurance and even pillows ― over comparable products marketed to men.
A number of states fail to recognize feminine hygiene products as necessities and tax them as luxury items. Women pay an estimated $1,300 more than men each year on products marketed toward them, and a woman can anticipate spending $18,000 on her period over her lifetime.
But, shocker, not every Republican-governed state is as open to making life more fair for women.
Indiana state House Republicans rejected a measure to end pink taxes in January. Tennessee Republicans are cool with additional sales taxes on tampons but not gold coins. Utah’s GOP-dominated state legislature voted to maintain the luxury tax on feminine hygiene products ― and only men debated the matter.
In 2013, when the Texas state senate was preparing to discuss the state abortion bill, state troopers threw tampons and other items belonging to people entering the gallery into the trash.
The new Illinois law takes effect on Jan. 1.