BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — One of the more contentious votes happening in Bismarck was once again deciding the future of the Public Employees Retirement System, also known as the PERS board.

House Bill 1547 would expand the PERS board from nine to 11 members.

It also places four legislators on the board, two from the House and two from the state Senate.

Another four members are appointed by the governor, while the remaining three are elected by current retirement plan members.

Many legislators expressed concern about the power this bill takes from the people, something that House majority leader Representative Mike Lefor sympathizes with.

“We want to be deeply mindful of the qualities, the experience, and the abilities of those that we appoint,” said Lefor. “Those that have a strong desire to make our employee’s situations better, to be able to recruit and retain employees. It’s going to be very important for those appointees to be very cognizant of what we’re doing in state government in terms of our recruitment and retention.”

The bill passed on the Senate floor on Wednesday by a 34-13 margin. The PERS board will next meet on November 14.