North Dakota Senate, House Leaders reaction to closure of special session

(Bismarck, ND) – The North Dakota Legislature has ended its special session. In the three-day session, the Legislature passed 14 bills and one Concurrent resolution.

Governor Burgum had issued an executive order convening a special session of the state Legislature on October 23rd in order to address the components of the appropriations bill for the state Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that was recently voided as unconstitutional by the North Dakota Supreme Court. The passing of that agency budget avoided a November 1st interruption to state government services to citizens.

In addition to finalizing the OMB budget and appropriations for the office of the Governor and Department of Environmental Quality, the Legislature took up funding issues related to judicial branch retirement, facility-related projects at Bismarck State College, workforce development grants, and the infrastructure loan fund. 

“We were efficient and thorough. We addressed the necessary appropriations and avoided a disruption in services. We kept focused on the task at hand and put the state in a good position for the remaining interim,” said Senate Majority Leader David Hogue, “we couldn’t be more thankful to the committee chairs, legislative council, and staff.”

The legislature also dealt with a handful of policy bills, ranging from incentives for fertilizer projects and Public Employee Retirement Board membership to Coal Development Trust Fund, school aid, penalties for illegal drugs, and water resource boards. The legislature also passed one concurrent resolution showing support for the State of Israel.

“We got in, got the job done, and got out. We addressed what we needed to and had important discussions on a number of other issues, some of which the assembly will wait to take action on until next regular legislative session,” said House Majority Leader Mike Lefor (R-Dickinson), “I’m thankful to the Governor for his involvement and assistance. Overall, we did what we set out to do and we did it in two and a half days. I’m very proud of the effort from all those involved.”