Bjornson named Legislative Council director

Jul 12, 2018

New Legislative Council director Jon Bjornson testifes before the Legislative Management Committee.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

North Dakota’s Legislative Management Committee has hired Jon Bjornson as the new director of the Legislative Council.

If you are not a legislator, you may be wondering – what’s that?

"Not a lot of people know who we are, what we are and what we do," Bjornson said.

The Council writes legislation, manages fiscal affairs and provides legal advice to legislators. Bjornson said the Council is the only staff lawmakers have.

"You are citizen legislators," Bjornson told Legislative Management. "All the other branches and elected officials have their own staffs."

Bjornson said the Council staff feels it has the responsbility to look out for the integrity of the Legislative branch.

It is non-partisan – and Bjornson told the Committee he will do what he can to make sure the Council stays that way.

Bjornson has been the director of the Council's legal division for the past two years. He's a 30 year veteran of the Council.

Bjornson will replace Jim Smith, who is retiring at the end of the summer. The Council has a staff of 34.