Lawmakers at odds over initiated measure committee makeup

Published: Apr. 11, 2017 at 12:10 PM CDT
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Legislators want to take a look at the initiated measure process, but disagree on who should do it.

The House and Senate have both passed a bill to create a task force reviewing the process.

In conference committee, House members prioritized nominating citizens without special interest ties.

The Senate, however, is pushing for a mandated labor voice and tribal member.

"We support the process. We believe in the referendum. We believe in the initiated measure process but what we want to do is make sure our voice gets heard because we do represent an awful lot of people across the state. So we do believe that that voice should be at the table," said Nick Archuleta, ND United president.

"If we don't have citizen anchors that are not tied to what we do in Bismarck every legislative session, it's going to be perceived that they were excluded and that we're trying to clip their wings because we're smarter than they are," said Rep. Ben Koppelman, R-West Fargo.

The conference committee has not yet come to a compromise, but must do so before sending the bill back to both chambers.