Weather could push ND session into MayBISMARCK – North Dakota legislators will decide early this morning whether to cancel activities today due to a snowstorm and flooding in the state. If the session is canceled, it would be the fourth consecutive weekday the Legislature has not acted on bills in floor sessions, almost certainly pushing the session into May.
By: Janell Cole, INFORUM
BISMARCK – North Dakota legislators will decide early this morning whether to cancel activities today due to a snowstorm and flooding in the state.
If the session is canceled, it would be the fourth consecutive weekday the Legislature has not acted on bills in floor sessions, almost certainly pushing the session into May.
Leaders canceled floor sessions Monday due to the number of absences. The Legislature adjourned for the week Wednesday because flood-related emergencies in several areas of the state caused many absences. Among the absences was House Majority Leader Al Carlson, R-Fargo, who has been defending his home along Fargo’s Rose Creek from floodwaters and was still gone Monday.
A blizzard warning for southern North Dakota on Sunday night through this morning was downgraded to a storm warning by late Monday afternoon after dropping 16 inches in the capital city and moving east. Light snow continued to fall, and there remained a threat of high winds that could create snow drifting and poor visibility.
“If the weather blows like it is all night long, we’re not going to be able to make it,” Senate Majority Leader Bob Stenehjem said at the close of an informal joint session that was called to hear a flood briefing from Maj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk before the Capitol closed for the day.
Some committees worked Monday, including both Appropriations committees that are building the state budget and both Industry, Business and Labor committees, which heard delayed bills on health insurance studies.
The lack of activity will likely push the regular session into May for the first time. Even though many legislators were present and some committee work was done, any day in which neither house holds a floor session does not count as a legislative day toward their constitutional limit of 80 days.
Before last week’s adjournment, the 80th day would have fallen on April 30. Depending on whether they decide to be in session Saturday, May 2, they could go as late as May 5 or May 6 before their 80 days are up.
Cole works for Forum Communications Co., which owns
The Forum. She can be reached at (701) 224-0830 or email@example.com