Wed February 9, 2011

Senate Committee Votes to Restore Free Breakfast Funding

After much controversy – a Colorado senate committee has backed off a plan to cut free breakfasts for poor students in the state.

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted unanimously on Wednesday to change course and restore some $124,000 needed by the department of education for the Start Smart Nutrition Program for the final weeks of this school year. 

Last month another budget-writing committee decided against the additional money, prompting howls of protest that lawmakers were balancing the budget on the backs of Colorado’s needy children.  The breakfast funding switch isn't final. The full house and senate must sign off on a long series of spending changes called supplemental or midyear budgets, in which the "Start Smart" funding is included.  The full Senate is expected to take a vote on Monday.  Statewide, the program covers about 2.3 million breakfasts a year to about 56,000 eligible children.

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