Louisiana Senate kills bill that would exempt feminine hygiene products, diapers from taxes

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BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Louisiana Senate killed a bill Wednesday, May 8 that would have allowed voters to decide if feminine hygiene products and diapers should be exempt from state sales tax.

It would have cost the state around $10 million each year to forgive that tax, which is the primary reason lawmakers said they were voting against the measure on the Senate floor. The bill fell five votes short of the two-thirds majority threshold a constitutional amendment must meet to pass. (26 YEAS) You can see who voted for and against the bill below.

“We’ve established in our constitution that we do not tax items that are deemed essential to the life, liberty, and happiness of our citizens,” J.P. Morrell said during committee debate on the issue. "Feminine hygiene products and diapers are simply not optional. If you need those items, you need those items.” J.P. Morrell filed the bill.

The state currently exempts prescription medicine, utilities, and food for home consumption from state sales taxing. You can read about what food items are exempt from taxes here. Morrell’s bill would have allowed local governments to decide whether they want to collect the tax on diapers and feminine hygiene products, or exempt it themselves.

Morrell filed similar legislation in the past, but it failed because of budget concerns. This time, he had hoped to use state surplus money to pay for it beginning in 2020.

You can view the details of the bill here.

It needed 26 votes to pass.

Votes:
(Local senators in italics)

YEAS

(R) Mr. President John A. Alario Jr.
(R) RL Bret Allain
(D) Regina Barrow
(D) Wesley Bishop
(D) Gerald Boudreaux
(D) Troy Carter
(R) Norby Chabert
(D) Yvonne Colomb
(R) Dale Erdey
(R) Ryan Gatti
(D) Jay Luneau
(R) Fred Mills
(R) Beth Mizell
(D) J.P. Morrell
(D) Karen Carter Peterson
(D) Ed Price
(R) Neil Riser - Columbia, LA (Dist. 32)
(D) Gary Smith
(R) John Smith
(D) Gregory Tarver
(D) Francis Thompson - Delhi, LA (Dist. 34)
Total -- 21

NAYS

(R) Conrad Appel
(R) Dan Claitor
(R) Jack Donahue
(R) Fannin - Jonesboro, LA (Dist. 35)
(R) Bob Hensgens
(R) Sharon Hewitt
(R) Eddie J. Lambert
(R) Gerald Long - Winnfield, LA (Dist. 31)
(R) Daniel Martiny
(D) John Milkovich
(R) Barrow Peacock
(R) Mike Walsworth - West Monroe, LA (Dist. 33)
Total -- 12

ABSENT

(R) Page Cortez
(R) Ronnie Johns
(D) Eric LaFleur
(R) Dan Morrish
(R) Rick Ward
(R) Mack Bodi White
Total -- 6

If you would like to contact your local senator, you can do so here.

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