(BISMARCK, N.D.) – Republicans in the House Education Committee scoffed at a bill providing children in elementary grades who qualify for the hot lunch program, with one snack beverage, specifically milk, per day by giving the bill a Do Not Pass recommendation on a 10-3 party line vote.
HB 1421 would reimburse the Superintendent of Public Instruction for one snack beverage of either milk or juice each day for students qualifying for the free or reduced school lunch program during the 2013-15 biennium.
Following the Do Not Pass vote, House Education Committee member and Assistant House Democratic Leader, Corey Mock, D-Grand Forks, issued the following statement:
“House Republicans are committed to giving tax cuts to oil companies. They’re passionate about giving hundreds of millions of dollars to huge, out-of-state, corporations. But they are not the least bit interested in providing the bare necessities to the kids in our state.
Denying a carton of milk to one needy child is a shame. Denying a carton of milk to 6,000 needy kids is a blatant disregard for the priorities of our state.
This investment would keep some of the most at-risk children healthier, more focused, and would increase their academic success, not to mention provide them with essential nutrients for their development.
This is not an issue that should require a second thought, but somehow, Republicans have decided that multi-million dollar tax breaks for multi-million dollar companies are more important than our youth. We don’t agree, and we’ll let our actions speak loudly on this issue.”
Dem-NPL caucus members will keep milk cartons on their desks to raise money for local K-3 students not able to afford milk during the school day.
Additionally, HB 1421 was amended on Page 1, line 5 to strike $1,239,300 and add $557,685 and to stipulate the funding to go towards children specifically in grades K-3.