Does North Dakota need a special session?
House Minority Leader Josh Boschee, a Democratic lawmaker from Fargo, thinks so. He is one of a group of Democratic lawmakers who are requesting a special session to address the impacts of the coronavirus.
One major issue Boschee would like handed is some $1.25 billion in federal funding North Dakota is receiving to help address the COVID-19 situation. As it stands now, the executive branch will decide how that money is spent, specifically, and the Legislature's Budget Section Committee will say "yea" or "nay" to the decision.
That committee can't do anything more than that. If they do, it would be unconstitutional, since a mere committee of the Legislature cannot, on its own, legislate. Also, membership on that committee is limited. Many parts of the state have no representation on it.
Boschee thinks the whole Legislature should get to weigh in on the issue, as well as other problems facing the state, such as looming budget shortfalls and public health policy.
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Rob Port, founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.