North Dakota Legislature: Bills circulating on school lunches, residents with disabilities, snow removal

Photo by: North Dakota Legislative Branch
Photo by: North Dakota Legislative Branch

(Bismarck, ND) -- Several bills are circulating involving a few hot-button issues in Bismarck as the legislative session continues.

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would allocate general fund money toward school lunch programs.

A House bill would allocate nearly 90-million dollars to fund lunches for the 2023 and 2024 school years. A related bill would make it illegal to deny or serve an alternate meal, differentiate students based on meal status, and limit student participation in activities based on meal balance. Schools would also not be allowed to use collection agencies to collect unpaid debt.

In the meantime, a new bill is aimed at providing financial stability for North Dakotans with disabilities and their families.

The bill would reimburse family caregivers providing "extraordinary care" to dependents on Medicaid Waivers. The Senate bill was unanimously approved in committee. It is being forwarded to the appropriations committee before heading to the Senate floor for a vote.

And the State Senate is advancing a bill that would provide snow removal grants to local governments.

The bill is a response to a series of blizzards that hit the state between October and December. Just over 50 inches of snow fell in Burleigh County during those months, more that double the normal amount.

Senators approved a 20 million dollar package for snow removal overages in the last three months of 2022, with five-million set aside for events through April.