Burgum vetoes increased speed limit, school pronoun bills

Photo by: Governor Doug Burgum - Facebook
Photo by: Governor Doug Burgum - Facebook

(Bismarck, ND) -- A pair of controversial bills, for different reasons, have officially been stuck down by North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum.

Burgum has given a resounding no to a bill that would have increased North Dakota's interstate highway speed limit to 80 miles per hour.

He made the veto announcement Thursday on HB 1475, citing the Vision Zero program and push to reduce traffic deaths as the main reasoning. The bill, which was brought forth by West Fargo House Rep. Ben Koppleman, handily passed the house but barely squeaked by the state senate. Because of this, it appears there will be no overriding of the veto, meaning the bill is 'dead'.

Meanwhile, Burgum has also vetoed Senate Bill 2231, which would have prohibited schools from referring to students by any pronouns that do not reflect the sex assigned to them at birth.

The ACLU of North Dakota tells WDAY Radio they are thrilled with the Governor's decision.

"No one is harmed by allowing teachers, administrators and counselors to adopt inclusive policies that acknowledge the gender identity of their students," said ACLU of North Dakota Advocacy Manager Cody Schuler. "The practice of being intentional about using pronouns – and asking others about the pronouns they use – is all about respect. It ensures we’re using language that affirms the identities of everyone present, that doesn’t make assumptions about a person’s gender identity and promotes awareness of transgender and gender nonconforming communities. It’s really quite simple and shouldn’t be controversial."