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Lawmakers meet in special session next week

North Dakota Legislators return to Bismarck Monday, Nov. 8th, for a special session.

On the agenda: Redistricting, and spending the latest round of federal COVID-19 relief money, through the American Recovery Plan Act, or ARPA.

But lawmakers could also be dealing with other issues. Twenty-six 26 bills have been filed by individual legislators before an October deadline.

Of those, 21 are House bills, 5 are Senate bills. Many of them deal with such things as vaccine mandates and election security.

They will have to be screened by delayed bills committees in each house.

"Those are the only bills that will be coming before the delayed bills committees," said Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson). "If there's somebody else out there that has an idea, and they want to bring a bill, it's too late. We had a deadline."

House Majority Leader Chet Pollert (R-Carrington) had earlier said some of the bills that were filed before the deadline could be worth discussing.

"I don't want us to come in here and say, 'no, no, no, no,no, to the 'social freedom' bills," Pollert said. "There's some good ideas there, and we should have that discussion. It's going to take us longer, but we'll work late to get it done."

The leaders have said they want to finish it in five days — and to accomplish that, it may take some evening sessions.

On the first day of the special session, Gov. Doug Burgum will address the two chambers.

"Under the state Constitution, for every regular and special session of the Legislative assembly, the Governor may submit a 'State-of-the-State' message," Legislative Council director Jon Bjornson told the Legislative Management Committee.

That address is scheduled for 9:30 am Monday.

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