North Dakota lawmakers consider impacts of newly enacted term-limits

Courtesy: Kyle Martin with the North Dakota Monitor
Courtesy: Kyle Martin with the North Dakota Monitor

(Bismarck, ND) -- Following the passage of term limits in North Dakota, lawmakers are considering the implications of not having established career politicians at the state capitol. 

The North Dakota Monitor spoke with several lawmakers, who say members of the legislature will need a plan for succession due to the comparatively quick turnover. Many expressed concerns regarding the future loss of institutional knowledge and expertise; Half of the legislature that were elected in 2020 only have another four years they can serve, with the remaining half of the legislature being facing the two-term limit by 2030. 

"All the power goes to the lobbyists, who know the issues inside and out, and quite frankly, more power goes to the governor’s office because he has the staff and the wherewithal to tackle these issues, versus someone who’s only been in there for a session or two,” said Rep. Mike Nathe (R-Bismarck) to the North Dakota Monitor.

Other lawmakers said there will be a greater need more generalized knowledge instead of areas of expertise, and be able to assume leadership positions much quicker than previously. Some Democratic-NPL lawmakers also said the passage of term limits bill provides them with an opportunity to successfully run more candidates for 2024 and beyond. 

“Whether you win or don’t, it gives you the opportunity to build a name ID and there’s going to be open seats in 2028,” said Josh Boschee (D-Fargo).

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