AG Says Gov. Overstepped Constitutional Authority with Vetoes

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Bismarck, ND – North Dakota’s Attorney General says the Governor overstepped his authority on some vetoes this legislative session.

Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner and House Majority Leader Al Carlson requested the opinion regarding several vetoes Burgum used after the session ended.

Stenehjem found five improper vetoes, but he also found that a couple of the restrictions the governor was vetoing were also unconstitutional.

Although this is considered an opinion, state lawmakers have to obey it for now.

“When an attorney general issues an opinion, state officials are bound by the determination of this office until or unless the court rules otherwise, so in the meantime, I expect this opinion be adhered to,” Stenehjem said.

Burgum released the following statement regarding the opinion.

“The governor’s office received the attorney general’s opinion Monday afternoon. Upon our initial review, we are pleased that the attorney general’s opinion supports the overriding intent of these vetoes: to protect executive branch authority, preserve the separation of powers and prevent the spending of scarce state resources without the benefit of full transparency and the scrutiny of public involvement afforded trhough full legislative review.”

Legislative Management will meet Wednesday to decide if the legislature should reconvene.

Read the full opinion here:

https://attorneygeneral.nd.gov/sites/ag/files/documents/Opinions/2017/Letter/2017-L-04.pdf

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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