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Tax-free feminine hygiene products among new laws as of July

July 2, 2021 GMT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The tax-free purchase of feminine hygiene products, the legal requirement for sexual consent, and prison reforms protecting inmates are among new laws that took effect at the start of July.

Vermont became the 22nd state to make the purchase of feminine hygiene products tax-free as of Thursday, mynbc5.com reported.

“It’s taken a long time and probably a lot of federal money for other purposes to build up the courage to remove a tax on a basic necessary product for women and people who menstruate,” state Sen. Kesha Ram, a Democrat, said Thursday.

The Legislature also passed a law saying a person who is asleep, unconscious or significantly under the influence is now legally unable to provide consent to a sexual act.

Prison measures include the prohibition of sexual relations with prison staff and the creation of a review board to improve prison conditions.

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“What this does is create some mechanisms for corrections to investigate itself with a kind of internal affairs unit and also for oversight by an external board,” Defender General Matt Valerio said.

Also, the maximum weekly unemployment benefit in the state rose to $583, an increase of $52.