At session close, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum signed 50 bills related to his red tape reduction effort

The Red Tape Reduction Working Group plans to meet in mid-May to review the bills Burgum signed and address next steps, according to Burgum's spokesman Mike Nowatzki.

Gov. Doug Burgum signed 50 bills related to his Red Tape Reduction effort at the close of the 2023 Legislative session.
Troy Becker/ The Forum

BISMARCK — At the close of the 2023 Legislative Session on April 30, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum had signed 50 bills related to the Red Tape Reduction effort he began in the fall.

In August 2022, Burgum announced the creation of the Red Tape Reduction Working Group made up of representatives from 35 state agencies who would evaluate suggestions to create a comprehensive "Red Tape Reduction Act" for the Legislature. According to Burgum's office, about 500 ideas were offered.

After the group got to work in November, they ultimately acted on about 400 of them in either draft bills or administrative rule changes and process improvements, according to a March 22 news release.

Burgum mug.jpg
Gov. Doug Burgum

“We’re deeply grateful for the efforts of the Red Tape Reduction Working Group and the support from the Legislature to do away with unnecessary, duplicative and burdensome red tape," Burgum said in a statement. "We look forward to the next round of Red Tape Reduction efforts, which will have an even greater focus on gathering input from the public and business community to ensure that we’re addressing the red tape standing in the way of a more effective, efficient state government and better services for all North Dakota citizens.”

One example of updating laws came from a suggestion from Department of Commerce Commissioner Josh Teigen who proposed eliminating the Business Incentive Accountability program, which was established in 2005 to govern the state's business incentive granting process.


In his suggestion, Teigen said the "data is antiquated and not valuable," and his department tracked metrics that weren't included in the program.

He said in a statement that the program created "busy work for commerce staff to generate a report that was no longer valuable to stakeholders."

House Bill 1215 repealed the chapter of the North Dakota Century Code related to the program and amended sections and subsections that referenced it.

"This repeal was in no way a reduction of accountability, but rather a modernization of the law to move to a more updated reporting metric and reduce busy work for staff," Teigen said in a statement. He further explained that "accountability metrics are now tracked on a program-by-program basis."

Other bills of note that streamlined or updated state laws include:

  • House Bill 1040, which adds an allowance for an agency adult foster care home to be "considered a permitted use in a single-family or equivalent least-density residential zone."
  • House Bill 1060, which allows for the purchase of overweight and oversize vehicle permits for a 30-day period as opposed to the current single-trip permit. Additionally, annual permits can be purchased for 365 days or to expire Dec. 31.
  • House Bill 1080, which allows vehicle owners to keep their registration on electronic devices, aligning with state law that allows electronic proof of insurance, as well as electronic driver's licenses, a system that was approved in 2021 but has not gone live yet.
  • Senate Bill 2111, which allows electronic vehicle titles, although printed titles will still be available when requested.
  • House Bill 1409, which updates nonresident youth hunting licensing requirements to eliminate the age requirement and stipulation that the youth's family member or legal guardian is also licensed for small game and waterfowl. The change also adds that the youth may hunt for the duration of the season.

The changes passed during the session go into effect Aug. 1.
The Red Tape Reduction Working Group plans to meet in mid-May to review the bills Burgum signed and address next steps, according to Burgum's spokesman Mike Nowatzki. The group also hopes to identify other approved legislation that eliminated unnecessary or outdated information that was not part of the original effort.

A second phase of the effort may be launched this summer.

Below is a list of the bills related to the effort. Download the pdf to click on the link to the specific legislation.


Danielle Teigen has a bachelor's degree in journalism and management communication as well as a master's degree in mass communication from North Dakota State University. She has worked for Forum Communications since May 2015, first as a digital content manager before becoming the Life section editor and then deputy editor. In 2020, Danielle recently moved back to her hometown in South Dakota, where she works remotely for Forum Communications as managing editor of On the Minds of Moms as well as writes occasional news and history stories.
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