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Redistricting session likely in Nov.; another special session possible

North Dakota lawmakers will likely be back in Bismarck in early November for the special redistricting session.

But that may not be the only special session.

Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson) told the Legislative Procedures and Arrangements Committee he has talked to Gov. Burgum about having him call a special session to deal with redistricting.

"We could save our four days for another possible special session," Wardner said. "At least that's the way I proposed it to him."

Wardner said Burgum seemed to be amenable to that, but has not made any decision.

The 2021 Legislature saved four days from the 80 day limit.  Wardner said this allows lawmakers to call themselves back in for other matters – including spending the $1 billion the state has received in the latest federal COVID relief package. Wardner said leaders are being cautious about when that session could be called, based in part on expected guidance on how the state can use that federal money.

"We're like a plane over an airport," Wardner said. "We're in a holding pattern."

Wardner said he would not want a federal audit of the use of those funds to say everything that was done was wrong.

Wardner said there are also discussions on limiting what issues can be introduced at the special sessions.

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