Greetings from your District 36 senator. I would like to give you an update on my state Senate activities for the month of January.
I have been assigned to two committees. The first committee is the Industry, Business and Labor Committee which meets on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. We have heard a variety of bills involving workforce safety issues, banking issues, insurance issues and business issues. Some of the workforce safety issues have been very emotional and passionate. It has been very interesting, to say the least. But, we do eventually hear everyone’s testimony and concerns and work them out of committee and to the Senate floor for a vote.
The second committee is the Transportation Committee which meets on Thursday and Friday. We have heard a variety of bills involving motor vehicle issues, and changing the formula for distribution of the Highway Distribution Fund (which gives money to the counties, cities and public transportation). This bill (SB2177) was passed by committee on a 6-0 vote and will go to the full Senate for their vote.
Another bill that was very interesting was SB2070. This bill would establish a $50 fine for anyone who is smoking in a vehicle while a youth of 16 years old or younger is present in the vehicle. Testimony in favor of the bill was given by various students from the Williston Public School and also from teachers, parent and anti-smoking coalitions. The testimony given by the students was very detailed, scientific and was presented very well. The committee passed the bill on a 5-1 vote and was passed by the full Senate 35-10 and will go to the House for their consideration.
We have also been keeping track of all the bills proposed to spend state money. If every bill being proposed were approved, we would spend most of the state surplus. I personally feel we need to remember the past history of North Dakota’s economy and be well aware of the national economy today when we vote on these bills. The old saying, “put some money away for a rainy day” is very appropriate for the North Dakota Legislature at this time.
Please contact me with your thoughts. I can be reached by phone at the Capital at 888-635-3447 or e-mail address: email@example.com.
District 36 Senator George Nodland, Dickinson