Senate rejects bill to limit bill introductions

Feb 14, 2017

Sen. Shawn Vedaa (R-Velva).
Credit Courtesy ND Legislature

Sen. Dick Dever (R-Bismarck).
Credit Courtesy ND Legislature

The state Senate has overwhelmingly rejected a measure that would have limited each Legislator to seven bills per Legislative session.

That’s despite a 3 to 2 “do pass” recommendation from the Senate’s Government and Veterans Affairs Committee. Supporters said it would save money by cutting back on the days lawmakers are in session.

"Legislators would have to do a better job of choosing the bills they want to introduce," said Sen. Shawn Vedaa (R-Velva). "It may eliminate many of the bills we get criticized for. And we may have to tell some of our constituents that we're just plain out of bills."

Vedaa also said lawmakers could spend more time in committee hearings, rather than run out to testify on their bills being heard in other committees.

"You and I, as elected officials of the people,  are asked to exercise our discretion," said Sen. Dick Dever (R-Bismarck), who spoke against the bill. "Some people do introduce a lot more bills than others, but that's left to our discretion."

Only six Senators voted in favor of the bill – 40 voted “no.”