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Politics & Government

House says Industrial Commission needs to keep lawmakers 'in the loop'

It started out as a bill to reduce flaring.

And it was substantially changed. It now requires the Industrial Commission to make reports to the Legislature’s Budget Section on orders that have a positive or negative fiscal effect on state revenues of $20 million or more.

And it has passed the House – even though the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee recommended against it.

"They (the Industrial Commission) felt this would be an additional time burden," said Rep. Corey Mock (D-Grand Forks), a member of that committee. "The Budget Section, and Legislative standing committees, could currently request these reports, making the mandatory provisions in this bill unnecessary."

But Rep. Todd Porter (R-Mandan), the committee chairman, told his House colleagues this was a way to keep lawmakers in the loop.

"We get fiscal notes from agencies all the time," said Porter. "They tell us about the impacts of a piece of legislation. This is no different."

The measure passed 62 to 29. It will return to the House to see if there is agreement on Senate amendments.

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