ALAMEDA (CBS SF) – Feminine hygiene products may be exempt from sales tax in California.

A bill introduced in the California Assembly that would end sales tax on tampons and sanitary napkins and other products for women was endorsed by the Alameda City Council last week. The East Bay city was the first to support the measure.

Currently, they are considered ‘luxury’ items in the state, and subject to taxation. Supporters of Assembly Bill 31 (AB 31) say they are a ‘necessity’ like food, gas, water and electricity, which are tax-exempt.

At a city council meeting, Councilmember Malia Vella and John Know White urged lawmakers to support the measure, according to the East Bay Times.

“It’s really about menstrual equity,and while we are doing pretty well in terms of making sure women don’t have to stay at home or be isolated or confined when they have their period, we could do a hell of a lot more for a first world country,” said Councilwoman Vella.

The measure would also exempt menstrual sponges and menstrual cups.

AB 31 was introduced by Southern California Assembly member Cristina Garcia for the third time since 2016. Lawmakers unanimously approved the bill, but it was vetoed by then-Governor Jerry Brown.

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