House Majority Leader hopes for short redistricting session
Lawmakers are preparing for a return to Bismarck November 8th, for the redistricting session.
They will also take up how to spend the $1 billion in federal funding from the America Recovery Plan Act.
At this point, it’s a reconvened session – meaning the Legislature must finish its work in a short period of time. That's because the 2021 Legislature saved four Legislative days.
"I'd like to say we're going to get done in five or six days," said House Majority Leader Chet Pollert (R-Carrington). "That will be a monumental task. But we're going to do our best."
Pollert said the plan is to gavel in on the 8th, then adjourn — but not gavel back in until committees in both houses have hammered out their bills. He said the two Appropriations Committees will meet this month, to look at plans to spend the ARPA money, and come up with bills ready to go on Nov. 8th.
"So we gavel in, maybe recess for a day or two, so the Appropriations Committees can do their work," Pollert said. "Nobody will be allowed to go home, if they want to continue their pay."
Pollert said he expects some long days.
"We've got a short window here, and we need to get that job done," Pollert said.
Pollert said he also has heard some lawmakers will be bringing some “social freedom” bills, concerning vaccines and masking and things like that. He said those will be heard in Delayed Bills committees, and if approved, the bills will go to a joint Technical Corrections Committee.
"We need to have their voices heard as well," Pollert said.
Pollert also wants to keep one day for a "Veto session," in case Gov. Doug Burgum vetoes some of the bills.
"The House and Senate agree with a lot of what Gov. Burgum has proposed for the ARPA money," Pollert said. "But there are some differences there."
Pollert said the Legislative Branch needs to have options open, in case there are some vetoes.