North Dakota Legislature: Bills on foreign ag land purchases, parental control move forward

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

(Bismarck, ND) -- Several high-interest bills are moving their way through the state legislature in Bismarck, and even getting to Goveror Doug Burgum's desk.

The North Dakota Senate is advancing a bill that would bar foreign governments and businesses they control from purchasing agricultural land in the state.

Foreign government entities would also be banned from acquiring or holding interest in North Dakota agricultural land. The bill passed on a 47 to nothing vote, and is headed for a hearing in the House Agricultural Committee.

In the meantime, the State Senate is also moving forward with a bill that would name parents or legal guardians as having primary control over their child's care and supervision.

The bill passed the Senate unanimously Wednesday. The House previously passed the bill by eight votes. The state will retain its right to investigate possible cases of child abuse and neglect.

A bill protecting the words of the Pledge of Allegiance is moving through the North Dakota Legislature.

The state Senate passed a bill Wednesday barring the governor, a person in charge, or an employee from changing the words of the pledge when recited. The bill is one of two proposals bu state lawmakers this session.

Lawmakers meanwhile are rejecting a bill that would require a study of the effectiveness of mRNA vaccines.

The bill began as a measure that would have criminalized the administration of mRNA vaccines, and was amended in February to become a study of the vaccines. The House voted down the bill this week.

The State Senate has also voted down a bill that would have made a ban on deer baiting impossible.

Current law allows Game and Fish to prohibit hunters from baiting big game animals. The bill would have taken that power away from Game and Fish. Game and Fish often bans deer baiting in areas where Chronic Wasting Disease is spreading among deer.

A bill requiring K-12 schools to show a video displaying fetal development is headed to Governor Doug Burgum's desk.

The bill would ensure that students would see a high-definition ultrasound video that would show "the development of the brain, heart, sex organs and other vital organs in early fetal development." Both chambers passed the bill with veto-proof majorities.

And speaking of the Governor, he is set to consider a bill that would legalize cigar lounges in North Dakota.

The state House and Senate have approved a bill creating an exemption for cigar lounges within the state's anti-smoking laws. The bill would allow indoor cigar smoking at licensed establishments that meet specific ventilation requirements. Burgum hasn't indicated publicly if he will sign the bill.