Senate bill bars future locked out workers from benefitsBISMARCK — Senate lawmakers on Thursday sent a bill to the House that would bar future locked out workers from receiving unemployment benefits. After a rousing floor debate, the measure, under House Bill 1112, passed by a 32-14 vote.
By: TJ Jerke, Forum News Service
BISMARCK — Senate lawmakers on Thursday sent a bill to the House that would bar future locked out workers from receiving unemployment benefits.
After a rousing floor debate, the measure, under House Bill 1112, passed by a 32-14 vote.
If passed by the House, state law will add locked out workers to a list of other labor disputes that don’t qualify for benefits.
The bill does not affect benefits to American Crystal Sugar Co. employees that the state Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of. But the 3-2 court ruling created questions whether current state law guarantees benefits to locked out workers.
Supporters of the bill said it helped clarify the decision.
Sen. Howard Anderson Jr., R-Turtle Lake, said North Dakota is a right-to-work state for a good reason.
“Each of us should be employees at will,” he said. “Each should make ourselves so valuable to an employer they would not want to fire us or lock us out.”
Sen. Tim Mathern, D-Fargo, said passing the bill “gives the trump card” to employers in labor disputes.
Voters could decide on taking $450 million from the state’s Legacy Fund to put toward college scholarships for North Dakota students.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 4026, which passed the Senate Thursday, would create the Legacy Scholarship Fund by only using the interest accrued from the original amount to fund scholarships for eligible students attending a North Dakota public university.
If passed by the Legislature, the measure would be voted on in November 2014.
The scholarship funding wouldn’t be available until July 1, 2018, one year after the state can constitutionally take that money out of the fund.
The resolution was sent to the Senate floor with no recommendation.