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North Dakota Assembly Resumes After Year Hiatus…With No Real Surprises, One Senator Receiving Award

December 4, 2017

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The American Conservative Union Foundation (ACUF) has just released its ratings for the 2017 meeting of the North Dakota Legislative Assembly. These ratings, a portion of the comprehensive and nationwide ratings released by the ACUF, are designed to reflect how elected officials view the role of government and are helpful in illustrating how both chambers of the legislature as well as individual members’ prioritize a wide variety of issue areas that directly affect North Dakotans.

The ACUF has reviewed each piece of legislation voted on in both the Senate and House of Representatives to produce average scores for each chamber as well as individual scores for each sitting member.

North Dakota lawmakers took pen to paper on various issues during the 2017 legislative session including unemployment benefits, welfare screening, insurance mandates, concealed carry, voter ID, and freedom of speech on college campuses. The 2017 North Dakota Legislative Assembly saw both chambers working closely together, passing a good number of bills in both the House and the Senate. Most notably, the legislature voted to:

· Eliminate the requirement for a concealed carry permit, limiting the requirement to a valid driver’s license or non-driver ID issued by the Department of Transportation;
· Require election officials to set aside ballots cast by voters who cannot produce a valid ID and exclude them from count until one is produced; and
· Protect franchise owners and employers by clarifying that they are not employers of the franchisor, further shielding them from labor law violations.

Despite the two chambers working together to pass a handful of beneficial legislation this year, the average scores for the North Dakota State Senate and House remained relatively stagnant, suggesting the legislative body has room for improvement. The North Dakota Senate’s average score remained the same as its 2015 score (the North Dakota Legislative Assembly meets every two years) – 50% – and the House’s score decreased by 2% – from 60% in 2015 to 58% this year. Only one Senator in the entire chamber, Oley Larsen, earned a high enough score from the ACUF (83%) to merit an award.

The 2017 Ratings of North Dakota are attached to this email; you can also CLICK HERE to view them online.

For questions or media inquiries regarding ACUF state ratings, email Jackie Anderson, Director of Policy and Public Affairs for the American Conservative Union Foundation, at janderson@conservative.org.

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