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North Dakota lawmakers OK accessibility updates to Capitol

The proposed improvements to bathrooms, entrances, committee rooms and several other public areas aim to bring the nearly 90-year-old building up to the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was updated a decade ago.

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The North Dakota State Capitol. Forum News Service file photo

BISMARCK — The North Dakota Legislature has approved a $750,000 appropriation to make the state Capitol in Bismarck more accessible to people with disabilities.

The state Senate voted unanimously on Wednesday, April 14, to pass Senate Bill 2146 , which will now go to Gov. Doug Burgum.

The proposed improvements to bathrooms, entrances, committee rooms and several other public areas aim to bring the nearly 90-year-old building up to the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was updated a decade ago.

The push for the renovations follows reports by residents with physical disabilities to lawmakers that bathrooms and other areas in the Capitol are hard to maneuver. Bismarck architect James Devine last year identified dozens of ADA issues in a report presented to legislators, who agreed the issue needed to be addressed as quickly as possible.

The state Office of Management and Budget would be responsible for the accessibility upgrades if Burgum signs the bill as expected.

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Jeremy Turley is a Bismarck-based reporter for Forum News Service, which provides news coverage to publications owned by Forum Communications Company.
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