GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — There’s a new effort in Lansing to make diapers more affordable for Michigan families.

West Michigan Representatives Tommy Brann, R-Wyoming, and Julie Rogers, D-Kalamazoo, are hoping to make diapers exempt from the state’s sales and use tax.

The bill they cosponsor would apply to both children and adult diapers.

“Diapers are not cheap, and if we can help mitigate some of the costs for these essential products, then it is worth considering,” Rogers said.

Brann says it’s already seeing bipartisan support.

“We both see the benefits of helping people out in this bill,” he said.

Brann represents the residents of Wyoming and Byron Townships. As a politician and restaurant owner, he has witnessed the struggles of those he serves.

“I look down the street and see that people are trying to make it day to day,” he said. “If it saves them one week’s grocery bill for the year it’s worth it. To them it means a lot.”

Last month, Governor Whitmer signed a bill which eliminates the state sales tax on feminine hygiene products. It will take effect in February.

The approximately $7 million in lost revenue will be reimbursed to the school aid fund from other sources.

Brann estimates the state brings in approximately $5 million to $8 million dollars in adult diapers and approximately $12 million to $16 million in baby diapers.

He says the exemption could affect the state’s general fund, but helping those struggling is what’s most important.

“We took a responsibility to protect the health and safety of Michigan people and indirectly this bill does that and will help people take care of their families a little bit better,” he said.

Bills 5611 and 5612 have been referred to the House Committee on Families, Children and Seniors.
If it passes there, it will head to the House and Senate for a vote.