You might remember conservative Steve Drazkowski.
Drazkowski has made appearances on our blogs several times over the years, including when he took to Twitter to joke about global warming and when he tried to bully fellow representatives in the Minnesota House.
Well, Steve Drazkowski is a Minnesota state senator now. And this week, he’s making national news headlines for his insensitive comments about a bill to provide universal school meals for students.
During a Minnesota Senate floor session discussing the bill, Drazkowski said:
I have yet to meet a person in Minnesota that is hungry. I have yet to meet a person in Minnesota that says they don’t have access to enough food to eat. Now, I should say that hunger is a relative term. I had a cereal bar for breakfast. I guess I’m hungry now.
Steve Drazkowski’s comments might just seem like the ramblings of an extremely out-of-touch individual who is completely clueless about the struggles that Minnesota families and kids are facing. And to some degree, they are.
But Drazkowski is not an outlier.
In fact, most conservatives in the Minnesota Senate and House voted against providing free breakfast and lunch for school students.
Despite what Drazkowski said, the facts on this are clear:
- One in six Minnesota students are food insecure. Of those students, 25% are from households that don’t qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
- Minnesotans visited food shelves more than 5.5 million times in 2022, a more than 50% increase from the previous year. And as a result, food shelves asked state leaders for emergency relief to help meet the growing demand.
Universal School Meals Passed Despite Conservative Opposition
Thanks to progressives in the Minnesota Legislature, the bill to provide universal free school meals for students passed. Governor Tim Walz is committed to signing the bill into law.
And now, conservatives will just have to live with the shame of voting against ensuring that no child in Minnesota is forced to go hungry at school.
But given that conservatives have voted to underfund Minnesota schools year after year, we don’t imagine that Steve Drazkowski or any conservative in the Minnesota Legislature will be feeling much remorse for what they’ve done.