ANN ARBOR – Free menstrual products will be mandatory in restrooms that serve the public in Ann Arbor.
The ordinance was approved unanimously this week by the city council and will kick in on Jan. 1.
“These products support basic human needs, and it’s long past time that we as a society acknowledge and respond to that reality,” Mayor Christopher Taylor said.
All public restrooms in Ann Arbor, including in bars and restaurants, must offer toilet paper, soap, paper towels, tampons and menstrual pads. Violations can result in $100 tickets, MLive.com reported.
Taylor gave credit to a high school student who expressed concerns about some residents having difficulty obtaining menstrual products.
Council member Travis Radina said the ordinance will apply to men’s restrooms, too. Churches and other places of worship might qualify for exemptions.
Council member Ali Ramlawi, who also is a restaurant owner, predicted that enforcement will be a challenge but he supported the ordinance.
“This is not going to put people out of business, but I think it needs to be noted that we need to have our own public restrooms as a municipality and not just put the responsibility on everybody else,” Ramlawi said.