ND Gov expects to set special session date soonBISMARCK — North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said Friday he would have “no problem” with starting the Legislature’s special session on Nov. 7, but that he will decide on the date after meeting with legislative leaders next week.
By: Dale Wetzel, The Dickinson Press
BISMARCK — North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said Friday he would have “no problem” with starting the Legislature’s special session on Nov. 7, but that he will decide on the date after meeting with legislative leaders next week.
Dalrymple is due to meet Wednesday with Rep. Al Carlson, R-Fargo, the House majority leader, and his newly elected Senate counterpart, Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson.
Senate Republicans chose Wardner this week as their successor to Sen. Bob Stenehjem, R-Bismarck, who was killed in a July traffic accident.
In June, Carlson and Stenehjem asked Dalrymple to begin the special session Nov. 7, which is the first Monday after the opening of North Dakota’s deer gun hunting season on Friday, Nov. 4. Veterans Day, which is a state and federal holiday, is Friday, Nov. 11.
Wardner and Sen. Ryan Taylor, D-Towner, the Senate’s minority leader, said Friday they supported the Nov. 7 opening date for the session, which is expected to last one week.
“I guess that’s what I’ve penciled in to my calendar,” Taylor said. “I think that’s what people are holding open.”
Said Wardner: “I think the earlier, the better.”
Lawmakers are expected to debate a new legislative district map, legislation to establish health care insurance exchanges, disaster relief and a proposal to repeal legislation that requires the University of North Dakota to use its Fighting Sioux nickname and an American Indian logo. The NCAA considers the name and logo offensive.
Dalrymple said he wants to discuss ways to craft a disaster aid package. Much of North Dakota suffered flooding damage during the late spring and summer, particularly from the Missouri and Souris rivers. Souris River flooding damaged more than 4,000 homes in Minot alone.
“There’s a number of different ways of approaching it,” the governor said. “It needs discussion. People do like to know the extent of what’s being done and where it’s coming from, what the basic policy decisions are. It’s not a simple issue and we want to have an understanding of how we’re going to approach it.”