NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

Victory! Breakfast After The Bell just sailed out of the Washington State Senate

Help is on the way for young Wash­ing­to­ni­ans who aren’t get­ting enough to eat before the start of their school day. 2ESHB 1508, which would direct high-needs schools to offer Break­fast After The Bell pro­grams to stu­dents, has just sailed out of the Wash­ing­ton State Sen­ate with over­whelm­ing sup­port.

The bill now returns to the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, since changes were made to the bill since it passed the House a few weeks ago. If the House con­curs in the changes, the bill will be dis­patched to Gov­er­nor Inslee’s desk.

“Near­ly 300,000 kids in Wash­ing­ton state live in food–insecure homes and almost half of Washington’s 1.1 mil­lion pub­lic school stu­dents qual­i­fy for free and reduced price meals at school,” the House Demo­c­ra­t­ic cau­cus not­ed in its press release cel­e­brat­ing pas­sage of the leg­is­la­tion in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

“Break­fast After The Bell offers nutri­tious meals to stu­dents with­out inter­rupt­ing instruc­tion­al time,” the release explains. “Break­fast pro­grams for low-income chil­dren are reim­bursed in part or full by the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, and cur­rent­ly have low uti­liza­tion rates. Break­fast After The Bell is expect­ed to increase par­tic­i­pa­tion in those exist­ing pro­grams. By mov­ing break­fast after the bell, instead of before, stu­dents will receive a healthy meal with­out hav­ing to stand in line and miss instruc­tion­al oppor­tu­ni­ties.”

Spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mon­i­ca Jura­do Stonier (D‑49th Dis­trict), Break­fast After The Bell is noble leg­is­la­tion that has repeat­ed­ly fall­en vic­tim to the Sen­ate Repub­li­cans’ grave­yard of progress over the last few years. Now that the Sen­ate is under Demo­c­ra­t­ic man­age­ment, it has final­ly received a vote there.

And look how much sup­port it got now that it has been freed from that grave­yard of progress! This is the rather impres­sive roll call for 2ESHB 1508.

2ESHB 1508
Stu­dent meals & nutri­tion
Sen­ate vote on Final Pas­sage as Amend­ed by the Sen­ate
1/31/2018

Yeas: 43; Nays: 5; Excused: 1

Vot­ing Yea: Sen­a­tors Angel, Bai­ley, Baum­gart­ner, Beck­er, Bil­lig, Braun, Brown, Car­lyle, Chase, Cleve­land, Con­way, Darneille, Dhin­gra, Fain, For­tu­na­to, Frockt, Hasegawa, Hawkins, Hobbs, Hunt, Keis­er, King, Kud­er­er, Liias, McCoy, Milos­cia, Mul­let, Nel­son, O’Ban, Palum­bo, Ped­er­sen, Ranker, Rivers, Rolfes, Sal­daña, Shel­don, Takko, Van De Wege, Wag­oner, War­nick, Well­man, Wil­son, Zeiger

Vot­ing Nay: Sen­a­tors Erick­sen, Hon­ey­ford, Pad­den, Schoesler, Short

Excused: Sen­a­tor Walsh

Sad­ly, the bill did not receive unan­i­mous sup­port. Five heart­less Repub­li­can sen­a­tors vot­ed against pro­vid­ing meals to hun­gry kids, includ­ing Doug Erick­sen, who is being chal­lenged by Belling­ham City Coun­cilmem­ber Pinky Var­gas in the 42nd Dis­trict. Top Sen­ate Repub­li­can Mark Schoesler was also a nay, along with Mike Pad­den, one of the most extreme mem­bers of the Sen­ate Repub­li­can cau­cus.

But at least most of the Repub­li­cans vot­ed aye, mak­ing this bill a big bipar­ti­san suc­cess. We look for­ward to see­ing it leave the Leg­is­la­ture and go to Gov­er­nor Inslee so it can be added to the Revised Code of Wash­ing­ton. Progress!

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