Legislature won't gavel-in Friday or Monday, and will hold hearings instead | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Legislature won't gavel-in Friday or Monday, and will hold hearings instead

Dec 31, 2018

The Legislature convenes Thursday.

That day, lawmakers will hear speeches given by Gov. Doug Burgum, Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerald Vandewalle and a representative of tribal governments. Then the Legislature will devote Friday and Monday to committee hearings – and there will be no floor sessions on those two days.

"Usually, the first bills we hear are agency bills with housekeeping," said Sen. Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R-Dickinson). "They're simple."

Wardner said the committees can hear them, act on them, and get them to the floor.

"That way, we'll have some bills to deal with Tuesday," Wardner said. "If we gavel in Friday and Monday, we won't have anything to do."

Wardner said those two days will not be counted as “Legislative days.”

"That would give us a couple of extra days at the end if we needed them," Wardner said. "I'm talking about having them if we need them between sessions. This makes sense."

Over the past few sessions, Legislative leaders have tried to keep some days in reserve for a potential special session, but to no avail.

Wardner said no other Legislative deadlines will change because of those two days.