Article by, Andi Lefor (Assistant to the Senate Majority Leader)
As the final days of the session draw to a close, the biggest budget issues remain to be finalized. Conference committees are still hard at work to resolve differences between bills passed by the House and the Senate.
This week, the Senate elected Sen. Dave Oehlke of Devils Lake to be the next President Pro Tempore. He was sworn in on Thursday and exchanged gavels with Sen. Gary Lee, the Senate’s previous President Pro Temp. He will preside as the President of the Senate whenever Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford is absent.
A few other senators were recognized in the last week as well. Sen Jerry Klein was named the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Legislator of the Year, and Sen. Janne Myrdal was named the state chair of the National Foundation for Women Legislators (NFWL).
This week, SB 2186, the innovative education plan, was signed into law by the Governor. This will allow schools to submit an application to the superintendent to waive certain laws or rules if doing so will improve academic success. The bill was the result of a bipartisan effort to give teachers more creative control over their classrooms.
The journeys of a few major bills came to an end in the Senate this week. SB 2344, the medical marijuana bill, was sent to the governor on Thursday after the Senate concurred with House amendments. In addition, the Senate chose not to pass HB 1436, choosing to put the idea of self-funding health insurance for state employees into a study instead.
*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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