ND House votes against women in leadership bill

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 6:02 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - A bill aimed at giving women more opportunity in the Legislature failed in the State House Friday.

House Bill 1311 would have required the House Majority Leader to select at least two women as committee chairmen. The lawmaker who introduced the bill, Representative Vicky Steiner of Dickinson, says the disparity in male to female chairs is stark in the House.

“I know women will vote against it, and some women will think, ‘If I only play ball, they’ll eventually promote me to chair.’ My experience says, you can play ball, you can not play ball, but definitely you’ll be sitting on the bench,” said Representative Steiner, R-Dickinson.

There hasn’t been a female chair in the House since 2013, and only two women have served on Legislative Management, the board that oversees the Legislature, in the past 20 years. The bill failed by a vote of 10-83. Seven women voted for it.