Lunch shaming in schools (3/6/2020)

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By Rep. Tony Jurgens, 3/6/2020

Hello from St. Paul,

A bill I’m chief-authoring that would address lunch shaming in schools will soon have a full debate on the Minnesota House floor. It’s illegal for schools to demean students in order to collect lunch debt, yet we continue to hear stories about how students with negative school lunch balances have their meals tossed in the garbage.

The good news is these incidents aren’t happening locally. But they shouldn’t be happening in any other Minnesota school either, which is why I’m taking action.

Students should not be demeaned or stigmatized because their lunch fund balance is below zero. As I’ve said before, schools should be paid for meals they provide, but that transaction should be held between the district and the parents – not kids.

GOOD NEWS FOR FARMERS

A popular state loan program could soon be available to farmers thanks to recent action taken by the Minnesota House of Representatives.

With strong bipartisan support, the House voted in favor of a bill I’m co-authoring to dedicate $50 million to the Rural Finance Authority (RFA) loan program, which ran out of funding on February 21.

The RFA is Minnesota’s main agricultural lending arm. It partners with agricultural lenders to provide low-cost financing to farmers on terms and conditions not otherwise available from other credit sources.

The bill now heads to the Minnesota Senate for its approval.

READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY

This week I was able to read to 3rd grade students from Ms. Kielsa’s class at Armstrong Elementary School in Cottage Grove as part of “Read Across America Day,” which is held every March 2 in order to encourage and celebrate the joy of reading. It also falls on the same day as author Dr. Suess’ birthday. Thanks for having me!

LOCAL VISITORS

Students Meghan McNamara and Natalie Sorenson as well as Amy Rowan and Derrick Jaeger from the Hastings YMCA stopped by. Meghan and Natalie are very supportive of activities at the Y and have also been active in the Youth In Government program.

FFA Day at the Capitol took place on Tuesday. I was pleased to visit with Annabelle and Leah, representing the Randolph Chapter of Future Farmers of America at the FFA Legislative reception.

Troy Weathers from Hastings was at the Capitol this week for Bank Day.

Hastings constituent Mike McCartney was in for a quick visit with Bike Walk Summit.

Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA) visited recently including Tim Powers, Cody Olson, Pete Olson, Joby Nolan and Scott Frampton.

Justice Alan Page and Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis have been traveling the state to talk about their proposed Minnesota constitutional amendment to the state’s education clause. They spoke at a House education event today.

Have a good weekend,
Tony

Representative Tony Jurgens
351 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155
651-296-3135
E-mail: rep.tony.jurgens@house.mn

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