Cristina Garcia continues the fight against the tampon tax

Despite last year’s veto and a committee’s rejection of a similar bill last week, a California proposal to make tampons, pads and other menstrual products tax-free is very much alive.

Assembly Bill 9 by Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia — who is determined to stop what she calls a “discriminatory tax” on health products that half the population uses for decades — cleared its first legislative hurdle on Monday.

The 39-year-old Garcia said she is optimistic Gov. Jerry Brown will sign the bill this time if it passes, despite his concerns about lost revenue. The bill would cost the state $21.7 million each year, according to a committee estimate.

At least eight other states, including New York, Illinois and Connecticut, have recently passed legislation exempting menstrual products from taxation, according to Garcia’s office. And last year a California woman filed a class-action lawsuit against the state tax board, alleging that the tax code is discriminatory because it classifies menstrual products as luxury items instead of health necessities.

Garcia, who leads the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, is not about to drop the subject.“Menstrual health products are basic health items,” she said. “My period is not optional.”

Source: The Mercury News


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