North Dakota Legislature: Eminent Domain, free lunch, drag show bills take center stage

Photo by: North Dakota Legislative Branch
Photo by: North Dakota Legislative Branch

(Bismarck, ND) -- The 68th legislative session continues to hum along in Bismarck, with more bills taking center stage as January comes to a close.

Three new bills introduced to the state legislature are addressing eminent domain in North Dakota. All of the proposed legislation surrounds the Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline.

Landowners have raised concerns over the pipeline that spans two-thousand miles across the state. Members of the oil and gas industry say the new legislation would delay projects, but increase the use of eminent domain in the long run.

In the meantime, another bill being proposed in the state legislature would provide all public school students with a free lunch.

Fargo Senator Tim Mathern says every kid getting a lunch regardless of income would reduce the stigma for poorer students who have been getting lunch for free. Another bill under consideration by House members would prohibit schools from using any items like stickers to identify students with meal debt.

A North Dakota House bill placing more requirements on the disposal of wind turbines is on its way to the state Senate.

House Bill 1090 passed the House 93-0 this week. It requires landfills to get approval from the state before accepting the turbine blades. Because of their size it is difficult to dispose of wind turbine blades.

And a bill banning drag shows near schools in North Dakota is on its way to the State Senate.

The House overwhelmingly passed HB 1333, which makes it a crime to perform "adult-oriented" shows in the public presence of minors.

Violators could face up to nearly a year in jail and up to a three-thousand dollar fine. Repeat offenders could face felony charges and years in jail.