No matter how they try to explain themselves, majority party North Dakota House legislators who voted against a milk-for-children appropriation come off looking stingy, mean and tone-deaf - because they are.

Too expensive, some opined. Other sources of funding can be found, said others. Still others seemed miffed the federal government no longer funds the program, so "why should the state do it?"

None of it is credible. In a state awash in revenue (when all spending is approved, surpluses will total more than $1 billion), the Republican-controlled Legislature falls all over itself to fund roads, bridges, bricks and mortar. They push tax breaks for oil companies and big corporations (most of them from out of state). But they refuse to squeeze out a dime so that a few children can have milk or juice during classroom breaks. The callousness is startling, disappointing.

And from the state that enshrines milk as the official state beverage.

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