Lawmakers hitting home stretch for 2019 session

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - State lawmakers are hitting the final stretch of the legislative session, and scrambling to hit a self-imposed deadline.

The state constitution only gives lawmakers 80 days of work every two years.

Many wanted to get work done by day 75. That would allow leaders to call themselves back without Gov. Doug Burgum calling a special session.

Monday is day 72.

Many important bills are still left to get done, including human services, higher education and the Office of Management and Budget, which serves as the Republican-controlled Legislature’s last-minute catch-all bill.

Lawmakers expect to work into the night this week and finish on Saturday, day 77.

The Legislature started its session in January with more than 900 bills. Burgum had signed about 400 of them as of Friday afternoon.

The Legislature ended its longest session ever in 2013, when it logged 80 days. Lawmakers met for more than 20 hours straight on the last day of that session.

The 1975 Legislature finished its work in 53 days, the shortest session in modern history.