By Daniel Stefanski |
Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs hasn’t been willing to compromise on Republicans’ proposals for economic relief for Arizonans, but her one idea for a targeted tax exemption has attracted bipartisan support as it moves through the legislative process.
HB 2401, sponsored by Democrat Alma Hernandez, “exempts feminine hygiene products and diapers from transaction privilege tax and use tax,” according to the overview provided by the Arizona House of Representatives. Republican Representatives David Cook and Steve Montenegro are two of the five co-sponsors on the bill.
Representative Hernandez’s bill has sailed through House committees, passing the Appropriations Committee with a 12-0 vote (with two members voting “present” and one absent) and the Rules Committee with a unanimous 8-0 tally.
Earlier in February, Hernandez explained her introduction and support of this policy, saying, “This would bring meaningful savings for families across AZ who are in need. I am hopeful that this year we will finally get it across the finish line and on @katiehobbs desk.”
Certain Arizona interest groups applauded the passage of this bill from committees, which placed it closer to a vote on the House floor. Arizona List tweeted, “Thank you Rep. @almaforarizona for introducing HB2401, which would eliminate tax on diapers and feminine hygiene products to make them affordable and accessible to all Arizonans. Congrats on its passing and thank you for your leadership on this hygiene equity issue.”
Before being selected as Governor Hobbs’ latest nominee to lead the Department of Child Safety this month, David Lujan took an opposing view to HB 2401, arguing, “Wealthy households do not need a $7 monthly savings on the sales tax for diapers. A better approach to this issue is a grant program which would provide free diapers to low-income parents.”
This exemption was one of Governor Hobbs’s first proposals upon taking office on January 2, which she highlighted the following week in her first State of the State address to the Arizona Legislature.
Hobbs later tweeted out, “Arizonans shouldn’t have to choose between paying their bills or getting what they need to be healthy. But with rising costs, everyday items add up. Eliminating the state sales tax on feminine hygiene products is a real step to provide meaningful relief.”
Should this piece of legislation reach the governor’s desk, it would be a lock for a swift signature from Hobbs to enact it into law. However, Arizona legislative leadership could hold the bill in one or both of the chambers to extract concessions from the Governor’s Office on Republicans’ policy demands.
Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.