Legislative updates by Don Morrison and Sharnell SeaBoy
There are two school lunch bills:
HB 1491 originally would provide lunch to every public school student. Students are in school over meal time so the school should feed the students. North Dakota Native Vote testified in favor. However, the House Education Committee voted to limit free lunches to students in families at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. The House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on HB 1491 Wednesday, February 15 at 9:15am. Contact the committee members to support funding the bill.
HB 1494 originally would prevent shaming of students who have unpaid school lunch bills. This has been amended to allow a student to be denied lunch after a week of debt. There are efforts to get that change out of the bill when it comes to the full House floor, likely the week of February 13-17. Contact your legislators to vote against the debt amendment and in favor of final passage of the bill.
The Hate crimes bill HB 1537 will have a second hearing in the House Judiciary Committee Tuesday, February 14 at 10:00 concerning adding funds for training. There is some strong opposition to the whole bill on the House Judiciary Committee. Rep Schneider is a strong supporter. Contact committee members to ask them to support this bill. You can attend this hearing or watch it online.