North Dakota Democrats chair one interim committee, call it 'unfortunate'

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State lawmakers finalized the interim committee assignments today. The groups will look at various issues over the next 18 months, but today's meeting might have created another one.

Democrats wanted to chair three or four committees and ended up with one. House Minority leader Josh Boschee, D-Fargo, says they had an agreement with republican leadership. Now Boschee says republicans failed to live up to their promise.

A bipartisan committee of legislators is already causing a rift between the two parties as democrats will chair one interim committee over the next 18 months, less than the three or four they were hoping for.

"I understand Representative Pollert is in a new leadership position and has to carry a lot of folks within his own caucus but a commitment was made and it's certainly unfortunate that wasn't followed through with,” said Boschee.

Pollert, the majority leader of the Republican-controlled House, says he upheld his end of the bargain when he offered chair positions to democrats, but they declined.

"When I asked them if they wanted to chair another committee and if they said they preferred not to, I felt I was fulfilling my obligation by asking because I would have put them on another committee to chair, I would have done that,” said Pollert.

Democrats are vice-chairing four other committees. Now that the committees are finalized, both Boschee and Pollert are looking forward to the interim studies.