ND Legislature: Burgum Veto Overturned, Moves on Insulin and School Vouchers

BISMARCK, N.D. (KVRR/AP) — The first of 4 vetoes by Gov. Doug Burgum has been overturned by the North Dakota Legislature.

Burgum had vetoed a bill that would exempt the Legislature from holding recorded roll votes on nonprocedural votes for consideration of bill amendments.

The Senate voted 45-1 and the House was unanimous in the veto override.

The senate has yet to vote on overturning Burgum’s veto of a bill banning Fargo’s approval voting system.

That could come Wednesday.

The North Dakota Senate has passed the so-called “voucher bill” which will set aside $10 million in funding for students who go to private schools.

The vote was 27-19 in favor of the house bill.

Under the bill, a student attending a non-public school could receive $3,200 toward tuition.

The Senate added a “means test,” saying it would apply to families who are at or under 500% of the federal poverty level, which is $150,000.

“Parents will continue to seek out the best education for their children. The decision before us is whether to give meaningful choice to all North Dakota parents, not just those with financial means,” said Grand Forks Republican Rep. Jonathan Sickler.

“We have one of the finest public education systems in the country. So to say that we have to do something different because we have overcrowded schools, we have poor facilities and people need a choice because of that because it looks like our system is broken, I don’t agree to any of that,” said Williston Republican Rep. Brad Bekkedahl.

The bill now goes back to the House, to see if it agrees with Senate changes.

In the national effort to deal with the skyrocketing cost of insulin, North Dakota lawmakers are weighing in.

A bill has been sent to the governor to limit out-of-pocket costs for a 30-day insulin supply to $25.

But it’s only for people in the Public Employees Retirement System which has more than 50,000 members.

Bill supporters say patients across the state are being squeezed by monopolies in the pharmaceutical industry.

Opponents worry that manufacturers could end up charging the state more money.

Categories: Local News, North Dakota News, Politics / Elections