Executive Vice President
The 65th North Dakota Legislative Session began on Tuesday, Jan. 3. Newly elected Governor Doug Burgum offered the State of the State Address on Day 1, calling for a reinvention of government, challenging agencies to find efficiencies and indicating that already discussed reductions may not be enough. Within days, legislators adopted a lower revised revenue forecast and received Burgum’s executive budget, which calls for cuts beyond those presented by former Governor Jack Dalrymple during the organizational session in December. As expected, the budget situation is certainly the pervasive topic of this legislative session.
There are also a number of bills that have been introduced to reassert private property rights — ranging from enhanced trespass protection for ag landowners and beefed-up penalties for those who are guilty of trespassing.
Similarly, there are a series of bills introduced to fortify the response to the ongoing unlawful protest activities in the state. They range from giving officials more authority to responding to emergency situations that are not natural disasters to lowering the liability exposure for those who unintentionally injure someone who purposely obstructs a road.
As always, let the staff or your volunteer leaders know if you have any questions about a particular issue. To keep up-to-speed on the latest happenings at the State Capitol, be sure to sign up for the weekly “Legislative Ledger,” which is delivered electronically each Friday, by calling (701) 223-2522.
The Two Bits column will return after the legislature ends, some time in late April.