Legislature and Bills

The League of Women Voters is committed to increasing understanding of major public policy issues.


Understanding our legislative process and getting in touch with your
elected representatives is a great place to start! 

 

 

 

Bills

 

Representatives

Who Represents Me?

North Dakota is made up of 47 districts, each containing one Senator and two Representatives who each serve four-year terms. Each district averages 14,310 people.

 

Look up your legislators: https://www.legis.nd.gov/lcn/assembly/constituentViews/public/findmylegislator.htm

Qualifications, Duties, and Salary 

The main duties of the State Legislature are to pass laws and adopt a state budget. For this service, ND legislators receive $518 per month and $186 per day while in session. 

Here are the qualifications to run for the ND Legislature: 

  1. 18 years old by election day

  2. A qualified elector of your district

  3. A resident of ND for one year before the election

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Bills

How to Track a Bill

There are so many potential bills to track in a legislative session, consider signing up for your personalized bill tracking account to keep track of issues that matter to you: https://www.legis.nd.gov/lcn/council/billtracking/login.htm

Submitting Public Testimony

Submitting public testimony to a State Legislative Committee Hearing can shape the outcome of policy! It has the ability to spark debate among committee members and can give elected officials a more nuanced view when making policy decisions.

 

Here’s how you can make your voice heard:

 

https://www.legis.nd.gov/legend/committee_hearings/hearings/public-schedule/ (ND House)

https://www.legis.nd.gov/legend/committee_hearings/hearings/public-schedule/ (ND Senate)

 

Select “Submit Testimony” in the right-most column to submit online

How-to video: https://www.legis.nd.gov/downloads/testimonysubmission/testimony-submission.mp4


What is a Bill Carrier?

One of the tasks of ND State Legislators is to carry bills out of committee to the floor of their chamber. They have spent time in committee hearing public testimony and testimony from experts, so they get to explain the effects of the bill and the committee recommendation to the other legislators. In return, they must be prepared for questions.

 

For each bill, the committee chair will ask for a volunteer to carry it to the floor or assign a legislator to be the carrier. If the bill’s sponsor is on the committee, they might get to carry their own bill.

 

To carry a bill, the legislator must have voted with the prevailing motion. If the bill has a Do-Pass motion and they voted No, they could not carry the bill.

 

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State Legislature and Legislative Process

Legislative Session

North Dakota is one of only four states where the legislature meets EVERY OTHER YEAR (biennially) in odd-numbered years. Each legislative session begins in January and ends in April, limited to 80 session days.

Legislative Committee Calendars

The weekly Legislative Committee schedule comes out every THURSDAY evening.

Find the schedule here: https://www.legis.nd.gov/legend/committee_hearings/hearings/public-schedule/?fbclid=IwAR114bQMKy-Ws8WeVultGfdj4PJqgjp5wNVxnZshfekEvlUzscjEdkayi8s

Watch Committee Hearings and Floor Sessions

You can check out live video or archived recordings of legislative committee hearings and floor sessions at 

https://video.legis.nd.gov/ 

What is a Legislative Committee? 

Committees are the powerhouse of the legislature - this is where the work gets done. 

 

The job of committees is to consider proposed bills. They hold public hearings, make sure each bill is in its best form before it leaves the committee, and decide whether to recommend a bill.

What is a Conference Committee? 

If a bill has passed both chambers and the two versions of the bill are not exactly the same, the bill will enter a conference committee, made up of legislators from both the House and Senate, to resolve any differences.

 

When the two bills look exactly the same, the revised bill is sent back to each chamber for approval. If approved, the bill heads to the Governor. If not approved, it can head back to the conference committee to try again or the bill will die.

 
 

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