Lawmaker blocks bill providing free tampons to inmates

PHOENIX - An Arizona House committee chairman has halted a bill that would guarantee an unlimited supply of feminine hygiene products like tampons and pads to state inmates.

Republican Rep. T.J. Shope has chosen not to put the bill on the Rules Committee's agenda Monday, saying the issue should be handled by the Department of Corrections and not through state statute.

The House bill introduced by Democratic Rep. Athena Salman would appropriate $80,000 for the state agency to purchase the items to provide to inmates upon request. It would also prohibit the agency from charging the women.

The agency currently provides inmates with 12 pads for free each month.

Shope's action spurred backlash from advocates, who encouraged supporters to contact the representative and to mail feminine hygiene products to his office.

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