Week 2 Legislative Update
The week was light on hearing and actions, but a lot of bills were filed. We’re following a whole host of them. I’ll highlight the ones seeing action this week.
Here is the updated tracking grid so you can view all of the bills we are following. We aren’t necessarily taking an active role on all of them, but we will chime in when we can. Some will be a priority.
The Senate did defeat SB 2043 this week, which would have updated state law to reflect marriage equality by using terms such as spouse throughout state code. It failed 15-31. Here is the vote record:
YEAS: Armstrong; Bekkedahl; Grabinger; Heckaman; Holmberg; Krebsbach; Lee, J.; Marcellais; Mathern; Meyer; Nelson; Oban; Oehlke; Piepkorn; Poolman
NAYS: Anderson; Bowman; Burckhard; Campbell; Casper; Clemens; Cook; Dever; Dotzenrod; Erbele; Hogue; Kannianen; Kilzer; Klein; Kreun; Laffen; Larsen, O.; Larson, D.; Lee, G.; Luick; Myrdal; Osland; Robinson; Roers; Rust; Schaible; Sorvaag; Unruh; Vedaa; Wanzek; Wardner
SB 2135 had a hearing today, Friday January 13. This bill proposes a study on the initiated measure process in ND. After hearing some testimony NDWN spoke up to ask the bill be more inclusive of potential organizations and individuals to be invited to the study. If the study is to go forth, it should not go forth unless the participants are much more diverse and representative of the more interests of North Dakota.
Next week there will be a lot of hearings of note:
This bill is aimed to encourage businesses to assist their workers with child care. NDWN supports and will testify to that effect at committee.
NDWN is a coalition partner in getting Dental Therapists providing care in ND. Dental therapists will work within a narrow scope of practice to allow dentists to extend needed routine and preventive care to underserved North Dakotans, as well as focus on more complicated needs and higher-revenue work. Thousands of North Dakotans do not receive regular, routine dental care because there is not enough access to providers in rural areas or for many people with low-incomes in urban centers.
This bill is an overreach that has far reaching consequences by stating causing economic harm, whether direct or indirect, is a felony.
These bills attempt to fix many of the uncertainties in the constitutional measure Marsy’s Law.
A large coalition of organizations are working diligently to continue Medicaid Expansion in ND. NDWN is part of the coalition. If Medicaid expansion is not continued, it will have devastating consequences on hospitals in the state and may result in some closing.
This is a cruel law that would be especially dangerous – it removes a driver’s liability if they hit a pedestrian. Such language is an open invitation for abuse. The specific language: “a driver of a motor vehicle who negligently causes injury or death to an individual obstructing vehicular traffic on a public road, street, or highway may not be held liable for any damages.”