February 8, 2023
FRANKFORT – State Representative Lisa Willner joined with a group of Louisville’s Mercy Academy juniors today to urge passage of her legislation that would add Kentucky to the 24 states not charging sales tax on feminine-hygiene products.
“I am proud to see these students take such an interest in this issue of fundamental fairness, and to advocate so strongly on its behalf,” said Rep. Willner of Louisville. “They add a powerful voice to our effort to help hundreds of thousands of girls and women better afford products they simply cannot do without. I want to thank Mercy’s teachers and administrators for supporting their students on this project and for giving them the opportunity to play a role in the legislative process on an issue that’s important to them.”
Under Rep. Willner’s House Bill 142 – which she filed yesterday afternoon along with state Rep. Samara Heavrin of Grayson County – the six-percent sales tax would be removed from tampons, panty liners, menstrual cups, sanitary napkins and similar feminine-hygiene products. According to a legislative fiscal note on a similar bill in 2022, the cost savings of this bipartisan legislation would be $2.3 million annually once fully implemented.
“Mercy Academy strives for our students to learn how to use their voices for change and to be active citizens who participate in the legislative process that impacts our daily lives,” said Kari Sims, Director of Service-Learning and Leadership at Mercy Academy. “We are excited to partner with Representative Willner on a bill to remove the tax on feminine hygiene products. For years, Mercy students have advocated for removal of this tax, and this year we are hopeful that by working closely with Representative Willner, there will be movement to a committee and eventually to the floor of the House.”
“I’m excited to make a difference in the legislative process like generations before me have,” said Shelby Vikre, a Mercy Academy junior. “I believe economic and gender equality will make a big difference for many Kentucky residents, especially those who struggle to purchase essential goods, such as menstrual products. Since 1981, when Minnesota first eliminated the tax on feminine hygiene health products, many other states have also adopted this policy. It has gained attention in the last couple of years, and now I hope Kentucky will become the next state to take this step toward removing economic burdens caused by everyday necessities. I am so excited to be a part of a monumental movement.”
“I am proud to continue the work begun by my friend, former state Representative Attica Scott, who carried this bill for four years and did so much to raise public awareness and explain why this issue is important,” Rep. Willner said. “I hope this is the year the measure becomes law, because so many Kentuckians are barely getting by and are forced to limit use of these products, putting their health at risk. Kentucky doesn’t tax such other necessities as prescriptions and groceries; it shouldn’t tax these products, either.”
Rep. Willner’s bill will be considered by the General Assembly during the ongoing legislative session, which re-started this week after a recess and concludes at the end of March.