North Dakota Legislature: Bills on school lunches, education advance

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

(Bismarck, ND) -- Another week is kicking off during the 68th legislative session in Bismarck, and that's leading to a mixed bag of bills moving forward and being shot down.

The North Dakota House is advancing a bill that would help pay for school lunches.

The amended bill would set aside six-million dollars over the next two school years to provide school meals for low-income families. The original version would have provided nearly 90-million for free school meals for all K through 12 students. The bill is headed to the state Senate.

Meanwhile, the House has rejected a bill that would have eliminated the pink tax.

The bill would have exempted feminine hygiene products from sales tax. The measure was voted down without discussion.

The state Senate will now consider a house bill involving education that addresses virtual learning and open enrollment.

The bill would allow the state to provide online courses and educational support that can lead to high school diplomas. The online option would also be available to students outside North Dakota. The bill also sets a deadline of March 1st to apply to enroll students in a school that is not in the family's home district.

And finally the House is giving its approval to a bill that would give a tax credit to parents who adopt.

The tax credit would equal ten-percent of the federal adoption credit and can't exceed 50-percent of the taxpayer's liability. The bill also creates a tax credit for those who donate to maternity homes, child placement agencies, or pregnancy hell center. The measure now also heads to the Senate.