North Dakota Legislature: Bills on childcare, lunch shaming, vaccines move forward

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

(Bismarck, ND) -- Plenty of bills are moving across the aisle as the legislative session heats up in Bismarck.

The North Dakota Senate is moving forward with a bill to help parents with childcare costs.

The bill would provide parents with a tax credit for child care and would cost nearly ten-million dollars in tax revenue. The Senate's Finance and Taxation committee recommended against passing the bill, but the full body passed the measure by a wide margin.

The North Dakota House is advancing a bill intended to curb "lunch shaming" of students.

The amended bill would prohibit schools from withholding lunches if students' meal debt is less than a week old. It would also ban schools from publicly identifying students with meal debt or who receive free or reduced-price lunches. Schools would not be allowed to block participation is school activities or extra-curriculars because of unpaid balances or be required to perform work to make up for meal debt. Collection agencies would not be able to be used to go after students' meal debt.

In the meantime, the State Senate is moving forward with a bill to study the use of mRNA vaccines

The bill originally included a ban on the use of mRNA-derived vaccines in the state, which was stripped from the legislation. The measure is now headed to the House for a vote.

A newly passed State House bill would require the disclosure of owners of property leased to the state.

Disclosure would also be required under the bill by property management companies contracted with the state. State leases and rental agreements would have to list owners with specific interest in the leased property, as well as owners of state-contracted property management companies. Only three Representatives voted against the measure. The bill now moves to the Senate.

And finally a State Senate bill aims to add more training in various agencies to help treat fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

The Human Services Committee began considering the measure Monday. The category includes a number of diagnoses such as fetal alcohol syndrome, partial fetal alcohol syndrome, and alcohol-related neurodevelopment disorder.