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CALL TO ACTION: New Legislative Session, Newly Filed Bills and FY19 Budget Language

January 28, 2019 / News, Uncategorized

CALL TO ACTION:

“An Act Regarding Breakfast After the Bell” bills have been filed in both the Senate and the House!

The Senate docket # is SD 1878 and was filed by Senator Sal DiDomenico (D – Everett)

The House docket # is HD 3145 and was filed jointly by Representative Aaron Vega (D – Holyoke) and Representative Andy Vargas (D – Haverhill)

The DEADLINE for cosponsoring bills is Friday, Feb. 1st, 2019. We need your help!

  • Call your Senators and ask them to sign onto SD. 1878. They can do so by reaching out to Christie Getto Young in Senator DiDomenico’s office at Christie.Young@masenate.gov or 617-722-1650.
  • Call your Representatives and ask them to sign onto HD. 3145. They can do so by reaching out to Pat Duffy in Representative Vega’s office at Patricia.Duffy@mahouse.gov or 617-722-2011 OR Kiara Tringali at Kiara.Tringali@mahouse.gov or 617-722-2011.

Sample Call Script Here: RSMACallScript_CosponsorAsk_1.28.19

Background:

The Breakfast After the Bell bill was first introduced in the 2017/2018 legislative session. In July 2018, the bill passed unanimously in the Senate, but unfortunately could not get it passed in the House. The bill was just refiled in the 2019/2020 legislative session  in the State Senate by Senator Sal DiDomenico (D – Everett) and in the State House of Representative by Representative Aaron Vega (D – Holyoke) and Representative Andy Vargas (D – Haverhill).

FY19 Budget Language:

There was language that passed in the FY19 budget which intended to mandate Breakfast After the Bell. This langauge at the time was not seen as a mandate by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). That has recently changed and DESE sent out a letter to Superintendents on January 18, requiring approximately 300 schools to implement a breakfast after the bell program by May 31, 2019.

While this is a significant development and potentially a great step in the right direction, this is not considered statute in law and would have to be added to the state budget each year. As the budget language stands, there are no guidelines, regulations or rollout schedule for schools to implement over a set period of time, which the legislation helped outline.

At the end of the day, we have one goal: increasing a child’s equitable access to breakfast across Massachusetts. We want to make sure this is done in an achievable and sustainable way through a careful, strategic implementation process, which the legislation will allow for.

Thus, onto the legislation!

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