Lawmaker says there are no hungry Minnesotans

Lawmaker says there are no hungry Minnesotans

A Minnesota lawmaker is in hot water after he argued against a bill to provide free meals for school children impacted by food insecurity by stating that he has “yet to meet” someone suffering from hunger.

Republican state Sen. Steve Drazkowski made the bizarre comment during a Tuesday Senate Floor Session on Senate Bill 12, which would allocate $420 million over two years to provide universal school breakfasts and lunches.

“I have yet to meet a person in Minnesota that says they don’t have access to enough food to eat,” Drazkowski scoffed.

He went on to call the bill “basically fraud” and branded the measure “pure socialism” for trying to manage what children eat.

 Drazkowski, who was elected to the Senate last year after serving in the House for over a decade, also mocked the definition of hunger.

“I had a cereal bar for breakfast, I guess I’m hungry now,” he told the room.

Sen. Steve Drazkowski.
Sen. Steve Drazkowski made the regrettable comments on Tuesday.
Minnesota Senate Media Services

“I didn’t see a definition of hunger in the bill. But I think most reasonable people suggest hunger means you don’t have enough to eat in order to provide for metabolism and growth.”

Earlier in the session, Sen. Heather Gustafson, the Democratic-Farm-Laboror party member who authored the bill, said that “roughly one in six children” in the state are food insecure.

“That means they don’t know where or when their next meal will be available if they get one at all,” she said.

Later that evening, Gustafson wrote on Twitter that one in five children in Drazkowski’s own district qualifies for free or reduced-price school meals.

Gustafson’s remarks were also underscored by the Star Tribune’s report last year that at least 61,000 Minnesota children live in poverty.

In 2022, Hunger Solutions Minnesota estimated, state residents made 5.5. million visits to food pantries.

Despite Drazkowski’s remarks, Senate Bill 12 passed with 38 votes in favor and 24 against. Gov. Tom Walz is expected to sign it into law in the near future.

But even after the bill passed, social media users delighted in mocking Drazkowski’s tone-deafness – and his wardrobe.

Steve Drazkowski.
Drazkowski previously served in the House for 13 years.
Star Tribune via Getty Images

“I’ve NEVER met a person who has been to the Netherlands, and trust me…I asked around. Therefore, there is no Netherlands,” one Twitter user wrote under a clip of the comments.

“He’s clearly never met a tailor either, yet those exist,” said another, referring to Drazkowski’s apparently ill-fitting attire.

“[This is] what happened was that someone asked ChatGPT for an example of privilege and things got out of hand,” a third chimed in.

Seemingly in response to the backlash, Drazkowski’s took to Twitter on Wednesday morning to say that snowflakes “don’t just fall from the sky in Minnesota.”

“You can also find them at the Capitol,” he wrote.

Drazkowski’s office did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

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