North Dakota’s 67th Legislative session to look at COVID-19 response
"There's probably going to be an effort especially in the House of Representatives to try to curl back and curtain the governor's emergency powers."
BISMARCK, N.D. — On Tuesday, North Dakota lawmakers are meeting for the 67th legislative session to discuss bonding, economic recovery, and the response to the pandemic.
Republicans have wide majorities in both houses.
“There’s going to be a lot of discussion about bonding and how bonding will relate to the legacy fund,”Prairie Public Radio News Director, Dave Thompson said.
Thompson says those who support it say this is a good time to actually bond for building and infrastructure projects.
“The Democratic caucuses proposal will include funding for affordable housing, making sure that we have infrastructure funding for roads, bridges and water projects,” Democratic Fargo State Rep. Joshua Boschee said.
Boschee adds that it is their responsibility as the legislature to approve the budget and to approve financial investments.
“That is why we at the beginning of the pandemic called for an emergency session so that we could have say as the legislators who are elected from each community on how to allocate these 1.25 billion dollars that came from the federal government,” Boschee said.
With funding in mind, one major topic of concern is the state’s stance on business COVID-19 regulations.
“There’s probably going to be an effort especially in the House of Representatives to try to curl back and curtain the governor’s emergency powers,” Thompson said.
Thompson says there was a lot of complaint about Gov. Doug Burgum with the mask mandates, the business closures and procedures that he put on for the COVID-19 pandemic.
The legislative session will also be welcoming a newly elected speaker of the house from West Fargo, Kim Koppelman.
“We do very important work in making sure that we’re meeting the needs of North Dakotan’s. I’m hopeful that the speaker of the house Koppelman will enforce those rules,” said Boschee.
The North Dakota 67th legislative session will assemble Tuesday.