Website Shows Legislative History - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Website Shows Legislative History

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On November 2, North Dakota will celebrate 125 years of statehood. In honor of the upcoming birthday, the North Dakota Legislative Assembly is taking a look back at our history.

Have you ever wondered when the first women were elected in the state legislature? Or who served in the first legislative assembly? Well now, all that information and more is available with the click of a mouse.

"We wanted to do something for the legislative assembly in honor of the state's 125th anniversary. So, we started researching the history of the assembly and when it started as a territory, all the way until statehood, until now," says Lead Legislative Service Specialist Andrea Cooper.

Compiling all that information and putting it online took Cooper and her team about six months, and she learned lots of interesting facts along the way.

"The state budget was $5,440, and they estimated it would cost $850 a day to run the assembly for the very first session. So, they were significantly deprived of funds," says Cooper.

And they had a lot to do. There were nearly 600 bills discussed during that session.

"They were in the process of organizing the state. They had to basically set out a spending plan for the operation of the state capitol to fund the offices for the elected officials. They had to pay themselves, that kind of thing, some basics," says Legislative Council Director Jim Smith.

And of course a major part of our history was when the old capitol went up in flames on Dec. 28, 1930.

"It burned the building completely. It was around the time of the depression so money was very short. Two million was appropriated to build the new capitol, the one that we're currently in and that was completed I believe over the next four years," says Smith.

By 1955 the state government was outgrowing the capitol so the State Office Building was built, and the judicial wing has since been added.

To take a look at the website visit legis.nd.gov and click the then and now tab.


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