Arizona Rep. Shope Kills Prison Feminine Hygiene Bill, Defers To Department Of Corrections

By Jimmy Jenkins
Published: Monday, February 12, 2018 - 5:01pm
Updated: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 - 12:03pm

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Representative T.J. Shope, the chairman of the House Rules Committee, said he will not hear House Bill 2222, which would have provided free unlimited feminine hygiene products to women in Arizona prisons.

RELATED: All-Male Committee Hears Arizona Bill On Feminine Hygiene Products In Prison

Arizona House of Representatives Majority Staff spokesman Matt Sprecht said the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) has decided to revise its administrative policy on feminine hygiene products.

“HB 2222 would now be redundant and Rep. Shope does not intend to hear it in the House Rules Committee,” Sprecht said.

The bill’s author, Rep. Athena Salman, said she will meet with representatives from ADC and the governor’s office to discuss a possible solution on Tuesday.

Rep. Athena Salman
Jimmy Jenkins/KJZZ
Rep. Athena Salman addresses an all-male committee with her bill that would provide free, unlimited feminine hygiene products to all women in Arizona prisons.

Salman said Shope refused to talk with formerly incarcerated women that she says "experienced pain by this draconian policy" speaking of ADC's policy of limiting female prisoners to 12 pads a month.

"According to Rep. Shope, his decision was made on a promise from the Department of Corrections to address the problem," Salman said. "This same agency literally testified a week ago that this issue wasn’t a problem at all."

Rep. Shope denies he turned down an opportunity to meet with stakeholders on the bill.

Shope said he believes 12 pads a month is not enough, but his basis for not hearing the bill "is that I don’t believe that this requires statutory approval as it can be done administratively by rule. I might add that a rule change would happen much faster than any statutory change as a legislative fix wouldn’t take effect until 90 days following the end of session while an administrative rule change could take effect almost immediately," he said.

Salman is still asking for the bill to be debated on the floor of the House of Representatives.

"I stand with the people in Arizona and throughout the country in urging my colleague to do the right thing," she said.

ADC has not yet responded to a request for comment.

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