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House passes Breakfast After the Bell program, 69-28

by caprecord

The House passed a bill off the floor Wednesday that requires certain schools to provide students with breakfast after the beginning of the school day.

Rep. Mark Hargrove, R-Covington, said the bill is unnecessary and thinks there are better ways to spend the $2.6 million needed to implement the program. He said he has visited schools in Kent and Auburn that are running their own breakfast programs without a cost to the state. In Auburn, students are “eating away and doing their assignments” he said.

“Everyone knows that our kids need to be fed,” Hargrove said. “The question is, is this the bill to do it?”

Rep. Sharon Tomiko-Santos, D-Seattle, voted yes on the bill and addressed concerns about the cost.

She said the bill is paying for grants for “cash-strapped” schools that wish to implement the Breakfast After the Bell program, but cannot afford it otherwise.

“This is one small way the state can say we can help you fulfill the promise we have collectively made to our students,” she said.

The bill passed 69 to 28. It now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Watch TVW video of the floor debate here.