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Bill introduced to curb executive power and give the Legislature more say in emergencies


A northeastern North Dakota lawmaker has introduced a bill to give the Legislature a seat at the table, when an emergency is declared, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sen. Janne Myrdal (R-Edinburg) intoduced it. The bill requires the Governor to call a special session, if a declared emergency extends beyond an initial 30-day period. The bill would allow that session to be held remotely, using technology.

"We felt there's holes in the Century Code," Myrdal said. "It doesn't allow legislators and local representativs to be a part of the decision-making process."

Myrdal said the executive branch has to have emergency powers.

"But we had to cap that," Myrdal said. "If it extends beyond 30 or 60 days, we need tol be able to come in and work together as a government for the people."

Myrdal saiid for her constituents, the idea of a “one-size-fits-all” declaration doesn’t work.

"You know, a bar in Bathgate is not the same as a bar in Fargo, when it comes to closing down," Myrdal said.

Myrdal said this is not directed at the Burgum Administration or the current pandemic. Rather, she said this is focused at what happens the next time.

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