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State Representative Anna Wills

491 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-4306

For more information contact: Andrew Wagner 651-296-2809

Posted: Mar 14 2014 5:39PM
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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

News from Representative Wills 03-14-2014


Dear Friends,

Warmer temperatures are finally here, and we're continuing to move quickly thanks to our shortened legislative schedule in St. Paul. Here are some updates from this past week:

School Lunch Funding

Yesterday the House voted unanimously to pass $3.5 million in additional funding for the state's school lunch program that helps provide assistance to low-income students for their school lunch account. This was in reaction to a report that came out last month indicating that some school districts had a policy of refusing to serve students who didn't have enough money in their lunch accounts.

Governor Mark Dayton and Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius notified school staff that no child is to be denied a school lunch. If the legislature had not acted to provide additional funding, this would have been an unfunded mandate on our schools.

I was disappointed that it took us this long to fix this problem. Republicans offered an amendment last year during debate on the K12 Education Finance Omnibus bill that would have fixed this problem months earlier. Unfortunately, the amendment failed, but this additional funding is better late than never.

I chief authored similar legislation, and was glad to see this bill pass with bipartisan support. You can view my floor speech from yesterday by clicking here or on the image below.

 

Bullying Down in District 196

I wanted to share an article that appeared in this week's Rosemount Town Pages.  According to recent results from the Minnesota Student Survey, bullying incidents have dropped by more than 40% at some grade levels. District 196 school officials and staff have been working at all levels to combat bullying, and those efforts are reducing bullying in our local schools.

Our local school officials and staff are in the best position to directly deal with bullying in schools, and I will continue to advocate for state policies that empower our local school districts and provide the resources they need to meet their unique needs.

Constituent Visits to the Capitol

Thanks to the "lunch ladies" from District 196 who stopped by on Wednesday to talk about school lunch funding, which we were able to pass on Thursday.

It was great to have a visit from Apple Valley fire fighters on Wednesday to talk about public safety legislative issues.