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House, Senate majority leaders don't like vetoed Dec. session bill

Gov. Doug Burgum has vetoed a bill that would have allowed the Legislature to introduce, consider and vote on bills in the December organizational session, just as they would during the regular session.

In his veto message to the Speaker of the House, Burgum said the measure – HB 1378 – attempts to “circumvent the Constitution.” Burgum said Article IV of the Constitution lays out the need for an organizational session in December, and then recess until January. He said allowing bills and resolutions during that session is beyond the scope of the “organizational session.”

It would take a two-thirds vote of both the House and Senate to override the veto. It had passed the House 57 to 36. The Senate okayed it 41 to 6.

Both majority leaders voted against the bill. House Majority Leader Chet Pollert (R-Carrington) said he has concerns about the December session.

"Basically, it's a three week period (before the scheduled session)," Pollert said. "You aren't going to go in between Christmas and New Year's. Do we really need to go in for that three week period? I don't think so -- but that's my opinion."

Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson) agreed.

"I didn't feel there were any urgencies that would cause us to have a special session," Wardner said. "I realize I was in the minority, but I agree with what the Governor did."

The House would get first crack at overturning the veto.

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