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Fargo lawmaker wants more transparency over who leases private space to state government

North Dakota Legislative Council

The sponsor of a House bill on private companies leasing building space to the state government says this will provide a better level of transparency.

The measure requires a listing of anyone who has at least a five percent stake in those companies.

"It's just a simple way to make sure it's clear to the public, who the state of North Dakota is interacting business with," said Rep. Shannon Roers-Jones (R-Fargo).

Roers-Jones said it does not prohibit legislators or state employees from leasing property to the state. She was a member of a Legislative interim committee that looked at the lease issue. And she said there had been talk about prohibiting legislators from making lease agreements to state government.

"By prohibiting legislators from leasing to the state, we may not be getting the best terms that are available," Roers-Jones said. "Rather than putting blanket prohibitions in place, this is simply a matter of disclosing who the owners of an entity are."

The bill is HB 1288.

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