North Dakota Legislature: Bills being discussed including parental rights, drug offenses

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

(Bismarck, ND) -- A couple of major topics are being discussed inside the walls of the state capitol in Bismarck as the 68th legislative session continues.

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would cement parents' rights into North Dakota law.

The bill would guarantee a parent's right to have primary control over their child's care, supervision, upbringing, and education. Supporters say the measure protects the fundamental rights of parents to keep their children from being exposed to materials they aren't developmentally ready for. Opponents say educators will have difficulty determining which materials might violate a particular parent's rights.

A similar bill would entitle parents to compensation if they win a lawsuit against a government agency concerning their children.

In the meantime,  lawmakers are also considering several changes to laws governing drug offenses.

A Senate bill would make it a Class A felony to willfully distribute a controlled substance that results in death or injury. The punishment would equate with penalties for sex trafficking some murder offenses.

The bill has passed out of committee and is headed to the Senate floor.