Al Franken on Welfare & Poverty
DFL Jr Senator (MN)
Franken on Monday ate lunch with the kindergartners at Meadow Lake Elementary School in Brooklyn Park, to bring attention to the significance of subsidized lunches. Nearly 8 in 10 students at Meadow Lake come from lower-income families who qualify for free or reduced lunches. "Kids who haven't eaten at lunch don't do as well in school. This is wrong," Franken said.
Under the current rules, children from families with incomes below $30,615 for a family of 4 are eligible for free meals; those with incomes below $43,568 for a family of 4 are eligible for reduced-price meals.
Franken is re-introducing legislation, the Expand School Meals Act, to pay the rest of the cost for those students who only qualify for the reduced-price meals. The senator introduced the legislation in 2009 and 2010, but it went nowhere.
There were any number of problems with the "moral values issue" issue. For starters: To me and apparently to some other people, the economy is a moral issue. During the 1st 3 years of Bush's presidency, 4.3 million Americans--including a million-plus children--fell into poverty. I, for one, don't blame the kids. Yet of the 20% of the voters in this exit poll who said "economy/jobs" was the most important issue, 0% were considered "moral values" voters. And 80% of them voted for Kerry.
Ditto for Iraq, health care, and education.
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