Senator Miles Advances Legislation to Address Food Insecurity and Repeal Predatory Traffic Program

Style Magazine Newswire | 5/18/2017, 12:01 p.m.
"Food insecurity is a major issue affecting Senate District 13, that is why I proposed and passed SB 725 out ...
Sen Borris L. Miles

"Food insecurity is a major issue affecting Senate District 13, that is why I proposed and passed SB 725 out of the Senate," said Senator Miles. "This bill would allow school districts to donate surplus food to nonprofit organizations and redistribute those foods to schools so hungry kids can access it at any time."

This week, Senator Miles laid out the House companion of SB 725, HB 367 in committee and offered a substitute to include State Rep. Helen Giddings' (D-DeSoto) HB 2159 that would prevent food shaming in school cafeterias by allowing a student who does not have enough money in their pre-paid lunch account to receive a hot meal of their choice.

"Food shaming is nothing more than psychological bullying. A child in school should never have a tray of food taken away, be marked with a stamp that says 'insufficient funds,' and instead of a hot meal, receive a brown bag with a cheese sandwich. I don't understand why we punish a child, when this instance is at no fault of their own," said Senator Miles.

Senator Miles also laid out HB 2068 in committee which would repeal the Driver Responsibility Program. This program was created in 2003 and assesses surcharges on drivers based on certain traffic offenses. The surcharges provide funding for uncompensated trauma care.

"Although established with good intentions, it is plagued with a slew of problems. It has an abysmal collection rate of 40%. The remaining 60% that is not collected, equates to more than $2 billion of surcharges that have been lost and an additional $600 million that have been waived," said Senator Miles.

"This program is completely ineffective. It thrives on surcharges, and is an unfair tax upon the poorest of our citizens and puts them in cycle of debt. When they can't get out of the cycle, they lose their license. Members from both chambers have attempted to pass this legislation for more than 10 years. This year, we will repeal this predatory program that funds trauma care on the backs of poor folks," said Senator Miles.

HB 367 and HB 2068 were voted out of their committees and will be brought up for a vote on the Senate Floor.