Operation Prairie Dog:
The North Dakota Legislature has endorsed a major spending plan to rebuild infrastructure projects outside of the state’s oil patch. The Senate voted unanimously for the bill that provides 250 million every two-year budget cycle for counties, cities a, d airports in non-oil producing areas. The proposal by Republican majority leaders has been called “Operation Prairie Dog.” The bill assumes that oil production and prices will hold at current levels. It now goes to Governor Doug Burgum to be signed into law.
Hybrid and Electric Car Fees:
Today, Lawmakers passed a bill charging drivers of electric and hybrid vehicles with an additional fee. The bill passed 72 to 17. Electric cars would be charged 120 dollars during annual registration.
For plug-in hybrid vehicles, a 50 dollars fee. And for electric motorcycles, a 20 dollar fee per bike. Data show there are nearly 4 thousand hybrids and 141 electric vehicles registered in the state.
Outlawing Sobriety Checkpoints:
The Senate killed a bill that would outlaw sobriety checkpoints in the state. Senators voted 36-10 to defeat the House bill. It would have required “reasonable suspicion for certain traffic stops.” Representative Rick Becker was the measure’s primary sponsor. He says sobriety checkpoints are ineffective and don’t act as a deterrent. But, enough senators disagreed to kill with the bill.
Sen. Dianne Larson: “The only testimony in favor of the bill was the bill sponsor.”
Sen. Oley Larsen: “We didn’t have that citizen that came in saying ‘oh these were such great ideas.’ It was the people who are going to miss out on their overtime check.”
Sen. Larry Robinson: “The fact is folks, they work. We don’t have to talk about big numbers. If we save one life here, it makes sense to have sobriety checkpoints”
Becker unsuccessfully pushed similar legislation two years ago.