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Arkansas senator calls representative 'sissy' over bill to kill state's tampon tax

Misty Castile
Hot Springs Village Voice
A photo of a tweet from Arkansas Rep. Aaron Pilkington regarding his support for a bill eliminating tax on feminine hygiene products and the response from Arkansas State Sen. Bob Ballinger.

When State Rep. Aaron Pilkington tweeted a story about the bill he introduced to exempt feminine hygiene products from sales tax, he likely wasn't expected the response he received from his Senate colleague.

Sen. Bob Ballinger (R-Ozark) tweeted "We're killing this you sissy." in response to the post by Pilkington on Wednesday.

Pilkington said his goal is also to increase marginal dollars for low-income workers by lowering the cost of vital products. 

"I hope it passes, and we take the burden off of women having to pay taxes on something, the necessities for them," Pilkington explained.  

Currently, Arkansas is one of 30 states that does not hold feminine hygiene products as tax-exempt products.  

He would later claim he was joking and tweeted a "tribute" to Pilkington. 

Pilkington says he did not take Ballinger's comment to heart. 

"I've known Bob. He's a good guy. I took it in jest," Pilkington said, noting he had been called worse things, and saying "You got to have thick skin to be in politics. That's just part of it." 

"I think when he hears me presenting the bill he will be supportive of it, or I hope he will," the congressman continued. 

Ballinger did reply to requests for comment. 

The Arkansas Times reported that, in response to Ballinger's tweet, someone left free menstrual products at the Arkansas State Capitol with a note signed "Love, Bob."