North Dakota Legislature: Oil, Adoption, Fertility Fraud take center stage

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

(Bismarck, ND) -- Things are ramping up in Bismarck as the legislative session continues.

The North Dakota House is considering a bill that would establish a go-between to sort out payment issues between royalty owners and oil companies.

The program would have an independent intermediary aimed at helping improve relations between royalty owners and companies. Royalty owner advocates say the proposed program would likely be swayed by oil industry officials. Supporters of the bill say it would improve communication between royalty owners and oil companies.

Meanwhile, a House bill would require the sex of babies to be listed on birth certificates.

Babies would have to be listed as male or female, with no option to write in not yet determined unless the sex can't be determined by organs or chromosomes. A related bill already passed the House that would prevent people from changing the sex on a birth certificate if the person changes genders later in life.

Lawmakers are also considering a bill that would help ease the expenses associated with adopting a child.

The House bill would provide a tax credit to parents for adoption expenses. The bill would also provide tax credits to agencies such as maternity homes, adoption agencies, and pregnancy resource centers. The House passed the bill in February and is set to be considered by the Senate.

State lawmakers are considering a bill aimed at protecting women seeking fertility treatments.

The bill would make it illegal for healthcare providers to intentionally implant donor sperm into a woman without her consent. The proposal would charge violators with a class C felony. The House has already passed the bill unanimously.

And finally, a new bill would allow craft beverage makers to obtain special event permits.

The House bill would allow microbrew pubs and brewery taprooms to receive special event permits to be able to sell their products at off-site events. The bill would also clarify language surrounding special event permits for domestic wineries and distilleries.