About 1,400 Bills Expected to be Introduced | VideoJessica Roose | 1/15/2013
As lawmakers settle in to the 63rd legislative session they are trying to figure out what the best policies for the state should include.
"There are a lot of ideas that are floating around out there. A lot of different ways that legislators think that we can meet the needs and address some of these opportunities that we`re facing in North Dakota." said Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mac Schneider (D).
Some bills recently introduced include gun control legislation, a pro life bill and a bill to strengthen DUI penalties in the state. But there are plenty more expected to come in the next week or so.
"I`m going to do one on initiated measures because I think that process needs a good serious look as to who can cary petitions and you know is it citizen driven initiatives or driven by outside interests," said House Majority Leader Rep. Al Carlson (R).
Members in the House are now limited to being the primary sponsor on five more bills each. Those in the Senate still have some more time.
"Our bill deadline on the Senate side, the first one is coming up on Monday. Then from that point forward you can only introduce three bills. So we already have a lot in the hopper and there will be a few more added here before we`re all done," Schneider said.
Which will likely make it difficult for lawmakers, especially when it comes to figuring out how to spend surplus dollars. The Governor laid out his plan, but it`s up to the legislature to look it over.
"The only people in this whole place that can spend any money is the legislature and what our job is now is to sort through his recommendations and add in our own if we see fit. Remove, increase, decrease or remove all together some of his," Carlson said.
Even so, Carlson says with a Republican majority in both chambers, he`s confident the budget that passes the legislature this session will look very similar to what the Governor recommended.
Lawmakers are expected to introduce about 1,400 bills this session. In the previous one they had introduced just over a thousand.