Murphy’s Law 2019 #24

March 26, 2019

A Rather General Discussion: Just as an example of how things are never quite over during a session, take yesterday’s killing of 2275 on the House floor. That is an infrastructure revolving loan fund described as a companion bill to Prairie Dog (1066) which has already passed. Already this morning, language was inserted in 2020 – the State Water Commission budget bill – which does what 2275 did. Meanwhile, law enforcement showed up at a Senate Judiciary hearing en masse to protest 1290, a bill which seeks a higher standard of evidence before any law enforcement can search or come onto private property without there being an emergency, etc. The Cass county sheriff mentioned that they serve about 10,000 papers a year and that they would need a judge to sign off on every one – an enormous added burden on the court system. Unfortunately, I caught only the opposing testimony (and not all of that), but a District Attorney was joined by the Dept. of Mineral Resources, Game and Fish, the Health Dept. and others before I had to leave, making me wonder how such a bill could have passed the House before coming over to be heard in the Senate. I went back to check on the House vote and it was 64 yeas – 29 nays, which proves to me that one needs the whole story. At any rate, the chair of Senate Judiciary had a career as a youth worker for the Bismarck Police Department. Now, this does not mean that the chair would not allow passage of 1290, but it just shows how our ND Legislature can be influenced by the makeup of our citizen legislature. The chair of House Finance and Tax is a farmer, so too are the chairs of House Agriculture, Senate Education, Senate Agriculture and House Human Services. Some chairs are educators, grocers, printers, car salesmen, realtors, small business owners and others. My point is that our legislature sometimes uses the expertise garnered during ones career, but often not. Therefore, it is helpful to know who one is dealing with when trying to either further or defeat a bill. The aforementioned insertion of the infrastructure revolving loan fund into 2020, the Water budget, was from a legislator who had been employed for decades by the NRCS.