Local News

Rep. Donald Longmuir: Legislative Update

Written by, Representative Donald Longmuir (District 2)

The legislature has been busy this past week.  On Monday I sat in on part of the hearings for SB 2301 dealing with specialty pharmacy services and which pharmacies can dispense specialty drugs and SB 2258 relating to pharmacy claim fees and pharmacy rights.  These two bills have a direct impact on our local drug stores and what services they can and cannot provide.  These bills would help constituents in District 2 from not having to drive to larger cities to obtain prescriptions which they used to be able to pick up at their local drug stores.  The Industry, Business & Labor Committee was taking testimony through Wednesday and their recommendation should come to the floor next week.

Representative Denton Zubke, District 39 and I have been working on SB 2340 regarding fees charged by the County Recorder’s Office and the impact they have on the Title and Real Estate industries.  We were successful in getting the bill returned to the Political Subdivision Committee for reconsideration.  Representative Zubke has visited with all the concerned parties and we have developed and amendment all parties and work with.  Now we have to get the Political Subdivision Committee to go along with the changes and return it to the full House for their approval.

Don Longmuir

Representative Donald Longmuir

This week the House discussed House Concurrent Resolution 3033, commonly referred to as the casino bill.  The HCR proposed to have a ballot measure in the 2018 election asking you the voters whether or not you would like to allow 6 privately owned casinos in the State located at least 40 miles from any Reservation casino.  I’m not a gambler and don’t generally participate in games of chance but I thought some people may like the idea.  HCR 3033 failed on the floor of the House.

The House Education Committee I serve on has acted upon all are bills and have forwarded them to the House floor.  Now we will sit back and see if any of the Senate bills we amended will be assigned to a conference committee.

The House Political Subdivision Committee had completed all our bills and referred them to the House floor.  Two bills sent to the House floor were returned to the Committee for reconsideration.  One of those bills is SB 2340 that Representative Zubke and I are working on for the County Recorders.  The other bill, SB 2316 regarding changes requested by the State Fire Marshal’s office needs to have some language corrected before the full House takes action.

On Wednesday, the House conducted its annual memorial service honoring former members of the House who have passed away since the last legislative session.  Twenty-two former members families were honored.  Ninety plus family members attended the service and received a House Resolution, presented by Al Jager, Secretary of State and a yellow rose.  A choir composed of House member and House staff performed four musical selections.  Representative Chuck Damschen, District 10, and his family performed two musical numbers.  It was a very moving ceremony.

Beginning next week the House has 101 Senate bills left to review by Friday.  About one third of these bills will be appropriation bills which will lead to much discussion.  SB 2344, the marijuana bill, is still being discussed in the House Human Services Committee and will cause much discussion on the floor.  All these bills need to be acted upon so leadership can begin scheduling conference committees between the Senate and House on bills which the Senate and House have not agreed upon.  Leadership is still attempting to bring the session to close around Easter.

You may be asking why leadership is attempting to complete the session is less than eighty days.  With the unknown status of health care on a national level, the uncertainty of the agricultural economy and oil economy, and the impact this may have on State revenues leadership is attempting to save days in case there needs to be a special session to address these issues.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding legislation or the legislative process do not hesitate to contact me @ dlongmuir@nd.gov or Bert Anderson @ bertanderson@nd.gov or David Rust @ drust@nd.gov.

*Donald W. Longmuir is a member of the North Dakota House of Representatives.  Longmuir represents District 2, he currently serves on the Education and Political Subdivision Committees.

*Ian Grande is the Editor of the Stanley Gazette. If you have any comments or concerns please email StanleyGazette@gmail.com

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