North Dakota Senate passes bill for annual legislative sessions

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North Dakota is another step closer to having annual legislative sessions.

Currently, lawmakers meet in Bismarck during odd-numbered years to write and pass laws and dole out money from the budget.

They have up to 80 days to do that, but some say meeting once every two years isn’t enough. Senators passed a bill today that says lawmakers still have those 80 days, but can allocate some of them to an even-numbered year — to amend the budget and consider bills.

“With us being a commodity-based state, how fast budgetary numbers can change, and for us to be able to be more adaptive as a full body instead of relying on the budget section which now currently has the authority in the interim to make pretty big expenditure decisions, appropriations decisions. I voted for this so that the whole body be more involved,” Sen. Jordan Kannianen said.

The bill passed Monday by a vote of 28 to 19 and Kannianen says he’s optimistic it will pass in the House, too.

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