Gov. DeSantis vetoes plan to put free tampons in public schools

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The Menstrual Hygiene Products Grant Program was one of several veto items that drew outcry from Democrats.

Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed a $6.4 million program to give free tampons and pads to public school students.

Rep. Kelly Skidmore, a Democrat from Boca Raton, had pushed for a bill to make those period hygiene products free and available at school nurse’s offices and school bathroom restrooms.

Getting their periods was why 1 in 4 students missed class, Skidmore said.

“I’m confident most women can relate to their period starting unexpectedly and at the most inconvenient time and location,” Skidmore said at a House committee during the Special Session last year. “For girls in school, it is no different and they shouldn’t be deprived of attending class and furthering their education five days out of every month.”

Fifteen other states and Washington, D.C., have passed similar legislation to offer free menstrual products, Skidmore said last year.

Previous attempts to make tampons and pads more accessible to schoolchildren who needed them have failed in the Legislature, although lawmakers created new legislation in 2019 that requires prisons to provide free period products for female inmates. The state also repealed taxes on menstrual products in 2017 under a bill that was sponsored by now-Senate President Kathleen Passidomo.

Skidmore could not be reached for comment late Wednesday.

The Menstrual Hygiene Products Grant Program was one of several veto items that drew outcries by Democrats Wednesday. Rep. Anna Eskamani, a Democrat from Orlando who often criticizes DeSantis, retweeted his veto list and pointed out the hygiene products program was one of the cuts.

DeSantis vetoed $900 million from the budget Wednesday as he cut spending to about $116.5 billion, or about $1 billion less than the current year.

“Some of the stuff I don’t think was appropriate for state tax dollars. Some of the stuff are things that I support but that we have state programs for,” DeSantis said during a press conference.

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .


  • Kathy

    June 12, 2024 at 8:36 pm

    Support young girls ? Of course not …. He wants them all to have babies at 12

  • Michael K

    June 12, 2024 at 9:29 pm

    Well, ladies (and men who are awake). Perhaps if the tampon industrial complex donated lavishly to the governor there would be a different outcome.

    • MH/Duuuval

      June 12, 2024 at 10:52 pm

      It’s good to be the Decider, especially when no one can hold you to account.

  • Denise

    June 13, 2024 at 10:19 am

    Apparently the tampon company made a huge donation to DeSantis

  • JustBabs

    June 13, 2024 at 3:50 pm

    Girls were always able to go to the nurses office when in need. I didn’t know it was a problem in Florida. When you are trapped in school, what do you do in an emergency?

  • Bethany Whitesell

    June 13, 2024 at 8:51 pm

    I would like to see what all he did pass, just so we could compare it against what he vetoed. See what he considers important. I’d bet there are things on there that are not important to the voters of Florida.

  • No more Tampons

    June 14, 2024 at 7:42 am

    I support this, because we already pay an extreme amount for this giant used tampon named Rhonda to waste more taxpayers dollars rigging elections and hiding travel from the taxpayers.

  • Brendan Selly

    June 14, 2024 at 8:12 am

    Can you add a link to the bill?

  • Stop The DeSantards

    June 14, 2024 at 1:42 pm

    DeSantis: “Ew, women parts – gross.” Think Casey used the turkey baster method.

  • Mary D

    June 14, 2024 at 7:51 pm

    The nurse’s office had pads but they were not free, not all girls had money to buy them.

    • FLPatriot

      June 18, 2024 at 2:26 pm

      Yeah, Where would a 12 year old get the money to buy it at school?

  • TJC

    June 17, 2024 at 1:07 pm

    If men had periods, free tampons would have been available in schools since before DeSantis was even born.

  • Sharon

    June 18, 2024 at 1:56 pm

    Yet our tax money pay for free lunch for all students, regardless how how their parents incomes are…. why don’t we set income limits for free lunch and use that money for emergency pads. Just a thought?

    • FLPatriot

      June 18, 2024 at 2:28 pm

      There isn’t free lunch for everyone. Where do you get your misinformation?

Comments are closed.


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