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House bill would relax university meal plan mandate

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ The Missouri House has given initial approval to a bill barring public colleges and universities from requiring that students buy meal plans even if they have dietary restrictions.

The bill approved Tuesday would allow students with medical documentation of food allergies, food sensitivities or medical dietary issues to forgo on-campus dining plans. Proponents say the goal is to protect students from having to pay for food they can’t eat.

Some lawmakers said that the change could hurt schools financially. Legislative researchers estimate about 300 students might opt out of meal plans, costing state schools about $1 million a year.

The bill needs another vote to move to the Senate for consideration.

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