State Rep. Skillicorn argues that new bill 'defies biology'
A recently introduced bill is generating debate and conflict, as it would require public middle and high schools to make feminine hygiene products available in boys' bathrooms.
House Bill 922, introduced on Feb. 14 and sponsored by State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora), has been harshly criticized by legislators such as State Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee). The bill requires tampons and sanitary napkins to be made available free of cost in all boys' bathrooms.
“The last thing we need is another unfunded mandate,” Skillicorn told the McHenry Times. “Especially one that defies biology.”
The bill states that access to the products is a “serious and ongoing need” in addition to being a “health care necessity.” It goes on to state that without access to such products, students may miss school days every month and that “when students have access to quality feminine hygiene products, they are able to continue with their daily lives.”
Critics of the bill, such as Illinois Family, claim that it is an expensive and unnecessary push, as it would require fiscal accommodation that would likely be in the form of staff or program cuts or tax hikes. These critics also believe that boys who need these products could receive them from school nurses, rather than implementing a costly institute-wide implementation of dispensaries throughout schools.
Similar implementations of female hygiene dispensaries in male restrooms have been carried out in recent years at institutions such as Brown University and Emory University.
If passed, the bill would be put into effect immediately. In its initial standard debate, the bill received 11 yeas and 7 nays, with supporters including Joyce Mason (D), Michelle Mussman (D) and Katie Stuart (D), and opponents including Avery Bourne (R), Tony McCombie (R) and Dave Severin (R).