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Port: Senate votes down blue laws repeal amid bizarre rant about atheists

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State Senator Dick Dever (R-Bismarck) suggests during floor debate that a bill repealing the state's blue laws might be an atheist plot.2 / 2

After the House passed a repeal of North Dakota’s blue laws – the prohibition on some types of retail sales on Sunday mornings – I expected smooth sailing in the state Senate. The Senate, after all, is typically perceived as being at least somewhat less socially conservative than the House.

Boy was I wrong.

The bill – HB1163 introduced by Rep. Pamela Anderson (D-Fargo) – failed on a 22-25 vote amid a lot of talk about religion.

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