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2017 Legislative Voting Record

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Posted 5/04/17 (Thu)

The North Dakota Women's Network (NDWN) has compiled a voting record of 14 bills (ten in each chamber) that were followed closely by NDWN in the sixty-fifth legislative assembly.  The voting record is intended to illustrate a voting pattern among legislators relating to the issue positions of NDWN.  It is our hope that this voting record will provide you with better access to the actions of your Senator and Representatives, compel you to stay informed on the issues, hold legislators accountable to you as a constituent, and work to elect policy makers that serve North Dakota women and families.

+ indicates a vote in agreement with NDWN

- indicates a vote not in line with the position of NDWN

A notes that the member was absent for the vote.

Click here for the Senate Voting Record

Click here for the House Voting Record

Voting Record Bill Descriptions

1163 – Introduced by Fargo Representative Pam Anderson, the bill aimed to repeal all Sunday closing laws. This would enable businesses to choose their own hours without restrictions of state law. The bill originally failed in the house, was reconsidered the next day and passed. The senate defeated the bill narrowly by a vote of 22-25. The floor debate in the house and senate was rife with sexism and intolerance, with references to women serving breakfast in bed and spending her husband’s money. The Senate was lacking respect for religious differences in floor speeches. 

1164 – In an attempt to help with the child care crisis, this bill provided a tax credit to employers who assist in providing child care for their employees. The bill was supported by the state Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development association, but defeated in the house.

1193 – The bill was an attack on protesters. If any protester caused any economic harm to the entity they are protesting, they would be committing a crime. Whether the protests were in support of Occupy Wall Street or last century’s marches for universal suffrage, all protests are meant to put economic pressure on individuals, organizations or governments. It passed the house but failed in the senate with only one vote in favor.

1308 – There were two bills trying to require drug testing of those on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). 1308 started as a bill to require drug testing of all TANF recipients, which both stereotyped all people in need but also proposed a proven ineffective method of screening. Wherever such a proposal was enacted, the costs to the state were high and the outcomes had minimal positive drug tests. The bill passed the house and failed in the senate, meeting the same fate as its senate companion 2279.

1329 – Introduced by Bismarck Representative Rick C Becker, this bill was a response to events outside of North Dakota. It was attempting to eliminate safe spaces on state college campuses. This would have had a negative impact on safe zones established for those experiencing abuse and harassment because of gender, sexuality, or gender identity. It is these safe zones that exist as a route to support and counseling. Safe zones are not about speech, but about physical and emotional safety after hostile experiences. The bill passed the house but was handily defeated in the senate.

1369 – This bill updated the Voter ID rules for voting purposes. Although this bill is vastly improved over the ID options in current law, it removed the affidavit and added a set aside ballot with limited options to return to show proof of identification. The voter will require returning in person within 6 days with proof. The extra travel and time is a burden for rural voters. The bill passed and was signed by the governor.

1382 – This bill started as a voucher bill but was turned into a study of school choice. Public money would be used to pay private school tuition or home school expenses without the oversight and regulation that accompany the dollars when they go to public schools.  There was no need to study: vouchers do not help kids going to private schools achieve more and it does pull money from public schools. The bill passed the house but died in the senate. 

1386 – Introduced by Fargo Representative Josh Boschee, the bill would have added gender identity and sexual orientation to North Dakota’s human rights laws. Once again, the majority of the house refused to extend equality to all citizen of the state by defeating the bill. 

1405 – This bill brought some much needed transparency to the Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women by requiring reports of activity. It easily passed the house and senate, and was signed by the Governor. We anticipate this will spur action of the commission and illustrated support from within the Governor’s office for the work.

1412 – This bill attempted to add tribal members to the Tribal and State Relations Committee. At this point the committee has zero membership from any tribal entities. It seemed responsible to have tribal representation on a tribal and state relations committee, but the house defeated it despite there being no cost or foreseeable downside.

2043 – The interim legislative judiciary committee identified all changes needed to state code to update laws to comply with marriage equality. The senate refused to accept the federal ruling and defeated the common sense bill 15-31.

2194 – This bill supported early childhood education programs across the state. The vast majority of parents and educators support and desire early childhood education, but the senate defeated the bill.

2305 – The content of this bill is the same as 1164, which provided tax credits for employers supporting employees’ child care. This too was supported by the state Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development organization, but failed in the Senate.

2337 – This bill was an effort to heal race relations in the state and ensure the state legislative process was sensitive to cultural differences. The bill asked members of the legislature to participate in cultural competency training. The committee who heard the bill unanimously supported the bill, but the majority of the senate did not support it and it failed.