Port: This Legislature needs to rediscover what the term ‘public service’ means


MINOT, N.D. — I don’t think the comparison between a bill to expand the free school lunch program, and the bill to raise meal reimbursements for state employees, is entirely fair.

“North Dakota senators vote to boost their own meal reimbursements after rejecting free school lunch bill,” reads the headline on this story, and while it’s true that Senate Bill 2124 would raise meal reimbursements for state lawmakers, the bill doesn’t only do that. The legislation applies to all state employees traveling on state business, including lawmakers.

The reimbursement needed to go up — I don’t think I need to remind you, dear readers, of the rising costs of just about everything right now — and I’m glad the Legislature passed it.

Yet I’m afraid that the public is getting the impression that our lawmakers denied funding for feeding school children while doling out more just for their own meals. Probably while twirling their mustaches and cackling like a bunch of villains.

That’s a caricature of what actually happened.

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