Someone in Springfield is feeling pretty good about themselves. They’ve removed the potential for embarrassment to our impoverished menstruating youngsters.
No more going to the nurse’s office, finding a quarter or asking your friend to dig through her purse starting Jan. 1. The State of Illinois has come to your feminine hygiene rescue and mandated free supplies be placed in girls restrooms used by grades 6 through 12.
There may be untold good that comes out of this latest act of legislative largesse. But it is the untold costs that are the concern.
When Illinois lawmakers passed the bill, the required fiscal note read as follows: “HB 3215 will have a fiscal impact on school districts; however, the specific amount is not known.”
Another unfunded mandate. Cost unknown.
Local school districts and their taxpayers will discover that cost at some point, but then there is sure to be another personal hygiene cost to further soften those awkward pubescent and teen years for both sexes. School bathrooms stocked with deodorant? Cologne? Clearasil? Beano?
Maybe go for the full Vegas casino bathroom model and have an attendant to hand students paper towels and offer grooming tips?
And what about summer months and holiday breaks? Will the last day of school come with a three-month supply of sanitary products or will there be a program similar to the summer lunch programs?
Not the biggest cost. Just the latest as Springfield continues to create government it cannot afford and ignores real problems such as pension reform, $15 billion in unpaid bills and living with the Illinois Constitution’s mandate for a balanced budget.
Now those are reasons to be embarrassed.