ND Senate overrides veto of bill banning statewide mask mandates

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Efforts to override two of Gov. Doug Burgum’s vetoes saw mixed results in the Senate on Thursday.

The first bill, HB 1298, would have prevented transgender girls from playing on public school sports teams of the gender with which they identify. The House met the two-thirds vote threshold needed to override that veto, at 68 to 25, but the Senate was four votes shy at 28 to 19.

“I’m deeply concerned, and I’ve expressed that today, that the governor’s veto throws our girls and our families in North Dakota, which is a majority that do not believe in this gender ideology, under the bus,” said Sen. Janne Myrdal, a strong supporter of the bill throughout the session.

The second bill, HB 1323, bans a statewide elected official from enacting a mask mandate, but still allows cities, counties, schools and businesses to make their own mask rules. It passed the Senate, and overrode Burgum’s veto, by a 32 to 15 vote.

“We make the policy Mr. President. We’re the lawmakers. And we don’t circumvent the process by the stroke of the pen, stealing that individual liberty and freedom from our constituents,” Sen. Oley Larsen said supporting the bill before it passed.

The votes on those two bills wrap up day 71 of the session. The legislature is expected to finish by next week.

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