Dear Freinds and Neighbors,
Even though we’re not in session, most state lawmakers stay busy during the interim learning about the issues important not only to their district but the state. The information we gather does play a major role in how we proceed when session resumes.
MORE SCHOOL LUNCH SHAMING
Kids are not supposed to be shamed in the lunch room for not having money in their lunch accounts. Yet this problem happens more often that anyone would care to admit. On Tuesday, Richfield Public Schools made national news for all the wrong reasons as video surfaced of a girl having her hot lunch thrown away. Here is one of the many stories circulating online. 40 hot lunches for students who had outstanding lunch debts of $15 or more were thrown out.
Embarrassing a boy or girl in the lunch line because their funds have run dry is not OK. While I’m not implying this is happening locally, it’s clearly happening around the state so we need to clarify state law to prevent lunch dumping. The student is not to blame.
As part of the House Education Omnibus bill, we did approve a provision that did just that. The proposal also clarified that students who qualify for free or reduced lunch cannot be refused a hot meal if they have a negative account balance because the state has already paid for the hot lunch. But this recent news shows more work needs to be done in this area.
HEALTHCARE AND HEALTH INSURANCE: A DAY LISTENING AND LEARNING AT REGIONS HOSPITAL
Not long ago I joined my colleagues (from both the Senate and House and from both parties) for a day of conversation and learning at Regions Hospital.
We covered everything from the cost of prescription drugs, the changes in the health insurance market, hospital funding, and maternal/child health. I always appreciate when we can step back from politics and spend time listening to the needs and challenges of our healthcare providers. We all benefit from the time spent doing this and I believe it helps us develop better policy.
Some extra fun was thrown in when we got to see two of the therapy dogs and step out on the heli-pad.
I loved the dogs and was scared to death on the heli-pad!
STAYING IN TOUCH
As always, if you have questions or concerns regarding any issue, please contact me. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-8635.