Longest Legislative Session In History - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Longest Legislative Session In History


Since the adoption of the constitution in 1889, the North Dakota Legislature has never gone 80 days.

That is until this legislative Session.

Today marks Day 80 for lawmakers at the Capitol, and many are ready for the session to come to a close.

"It's been a crazy last 80 days." Food Service Director, Tyler Borstad said.

Tyler Borstad is the man behind the grill at the Capitol, making sure state legislators don't go hungry.

"Our sales pretty much double in those four months, so it's pretty hectic, I add some extra temp staff and it's non stop from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at night," Borstad said.

This is Borstad's second session working in the Kitchen.

"It's pretty entertaining having it be busy like that for awhile, but after awhile it gets redundant and it's going to be nice to go back to the way things were before," Borstad said.

Security is also important, which keeps the North Dakota Highway Patrol busy.

"A lot of hot topic bills I guess that kind of requires more presence with the highway patrol and security," Sgt. Tom Iverson said.

Up until 1976 the legislature only had 60 days to meet during the session. That changed in '76 when a constitutional amendment allowed the legislature to meet for 80 days.

"In recent legislative sessions they started going beyond 60 days into 70 days and this session is the first time they've hit the 80th legislative day," Jay Buringrud said.

While lawmakers fight the clock, some are wishing the session was still limited to 60 days.

"I think the one bill we would all agree on today is if we would put a resolution in to limit the legislative session to 60 days, I think that would get a lot of support, everyone is ready to go home," Tracy Boe said.

No matter how late lawmakers work, some at the Capitol will be staying up with them.

"We'll have a presence up at the Capitol no matter how late they're going tonight, they may be burning the midnight oil so we'll be ready," Iverson said.

The legislature has until 7 a.m. Saturday morning to get its work done.

During the 2011 Session, lawmakers met for 78 days and in 2009 they met for 79 days.

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