Article by, Andi Lefor (Assistant to the Senate Majority Leader)
Senate Weekly Summary
The Senate and the House continue to meet in conference committees this week, hoping to come to a final agreement on the different versions of bills that passed in both chambers. In addition, we are steadily continuing to chip away at the total number of bills that have yet to be voted on. Some important questions still remain, and our leadership is hard at work determining how we will close up the budget.
This week, the Senate concurred with House amendments and sent SB 2327 to the Governor’s desk. This bill will create a new Dept. of Environmental Quality. By transferring responsibilities into this new department, North Dakota will improve its ability to retain primacy in choosing how to meet federal regulations most prudently. This legislation emphasizes the importance of local control and government efficiency, and it is an effort to re-invent government in order to work more effectively.
Another important Senate bill received final passage this week: SB 2343, a campaign finance reform effort. This bill, which passed with broad bipartisan support, increases reporting requirements for candidates in public office and explicitly prohibits the personal use of campaign funds. By passing SB 2343, we are promoting transparency in elections and giving voters more access to campaign finance information.
Many of the biggest issues still remain for the next week or two, as the legislature makes difficult decisions on how to fund our priorities and how to go home with the budget balanced.
*This summary was provided by Andi Lefor. Lefor serves as the Assistant to the Senate Majority Leader in the North Dakota Legislature.
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- See also: Sen. Jordan Kannianen: Legislative Update