IL legislation to keep an eye on.
In 2021, IL State Representative Katie Stuart introduced legislation that would mandate IL Dept. of Natural Resources (IDNR) to provide free feminine products in all male and female bathrooms in our state parks.
I wanted to know how much this “free” service would cost IL taxpayers. Our state would need… $2.8 Million Dollars to fund this annually!
Why would providing free feminine products cost so much? These state parks do not have bathroom attendants to ensure people don’t take multiple feminine products at one time or to prevent dispenser vandalism. Dispensers and feminine products are not cheap. But also, the DNR would need to pay staff to install the dispensers. Pay staff for maintaining and replacing the dispensers due to use and vandalism. Ensuring proper ADA requirements are followed so dispensers can be used by all. It all adds up.
Keep in mind that our state parks are visited by people who do not live in IL. Essentially, IL residents would be financing feminine products for anyone who visits the park.
If this passes as an unfunded mandate, DNR does not have the financial resources to fund this expensive legislation. Either way, taxpayers will be on the hook for funding this.
I personally think it would have been a better use of funds to provide these products to food pantries, crisis centers and homeless shelters.
At this time, this legislation is is committee. Contact State Rep. Katie Stuart and tell her what you think of this mandate.