North Dakota AFl-CIO Legislature Watch - Week 3

Sisters and Brother,
Last week ended the third week of the North Dakota 2017 legislature. In the bills that came up, Labor won one, lost a few more and some are still tied. I have to admit that this legislature is a difficult one for working people’s issues. In every committee, we have only a few allies and a couple of neutrals, and the rest… It will be a difficult fight, but that just means that we have to try harder, and we will.

At the bottom, I am including how each member voted on the house floor for the important bills. I feel that as working people, we need to hold these people accountable, so feel free to email them your thoughts. There are many new representatives who are from union strong districts who are voting against Labor continuously. They need to be educated to their constituents needs.

First, let’s cover our big victory. Representative Louser introduced HB 1230 that would have cut the maximum weeks of unemployment insurance from 26 weeks to 16. Undoubtedly, this would have proved a disaster for Building Trades members and anyone facing a layoff in the future. In response, the Trades packed the room with Union members and that made quite a difference and certainly changed the tone of the committee. Jason Ehlert, Stacy Bendish and myself all testified about the effects this bill would have, and after some discussion the committee recommended a no vote. Though this was a victory there were several house members who still voted to cut our safety net so please look below.

Representative Marvin Nelson introduced three bills that would have helped working people across the state. Unfortunately, these were all needlessly shot down.

HB-1260 would have reversed the law that stripped unemployment benefits from locked out workers. This is a terrible injustice in that being locked out of work is not a choice that working people are in control of. To deny locked out workers unemployment benefits—as they did during the Crystal Sugar Lockout— is absurd. The legislature disagreed, however, and the state will continue to take the company’s side in labor disputes by putting financial pressure on locked out workers to settle for less. (See below to see how your representative voted)

HB 1261 would have given volunteer emergency personnel WSI protections for heart attacks and strokes that happened within 24 hours of responding to an emergency event. It also would have given them some coverage for PTSD caused by the truly terrible events those people may go through. Nelson then split out each element of this bill so it could be voted on separately and make it more palatable. Absurdly, they were all still voted down overwhelmingly in a party line vote despite the Wednesday killing of one deputy and the injury of another in Rolette County. The heroism and sense of duty in these first responders across the state is exhibited every day. However this seemingly was outweighed by the need to keep WSI premiums at rock bottom. (Again, see below to see how your representative voted)

HB 1262 would have studied the idea of placing WSI under the Insurance commissioner to put it coverage more in line of what we expect from private coverage. This bill was destroyed.

The last important bill heard last week was HB 1193. This would have made it a class C felony to commit a misdemeanor while causing economic harm. Now this bill is obviously aimed at the DAPL protestors, but if anyone looks closely at this monstrosity, it could easily be used against us as Union Labor. Every strike, rally, or protest is meant to put economic pressure on a company. That is the purpose of those events. So if in the course of a strike, someone crosses the company gate obstructing strikebreakers from entering the plant for a minute, or does one of a thousand other things that happen in nearly every strike, they would be facing a $1000 fine and a felony with and all of the consequences that has… like losing rights to firearms, etc.

I felt strongly that in the long term this was the worst bill so far and stood against along with the ACLU and an attorney. I know we made an impact on the committee and have a good chance of this one being shot down, but I will be watching this one carefully. It will likely come up in “committee work” this week so I am showing up every day to make certain that I am there.

Next week, several more bills are coming forward. Tuesday has HB 1401 which would allow police and firefighters to collectively bargain. The fact that our state stands against this bewildering, and we will be supporting this bill, needless to say.

HB 1405 deals with studying the status of women and the pay inequity between the genders in North Dakota. This is something that we need to be supporting as nearly all union contracts guarantee equal pay for equal work as a basic tenant. We can both support women’s rights and promote unionism simultaneously.

HB 1400 demands that companies which contract to do work for the state show that they pay both men and women equivalently. Again, as this is part of basic unionism, it should be something we should stand together on. I will be testifying at both, but anyone willing to testify for either of these bills should call me at (701) 595-3334. Having rank and file workers there is so important.

Voting Records
Please study how your representatives voted and don’t be shy about letting them know how you feel. There are many new representatives from formerly union friendly districts that need to know what workers need.

HB 1230 Cutting maximum week of unemployment
(Yeas are against Labor and Nays are for)

YEAS: Becker, Rick C.; Brabandt; Ertelt; Johnston; Kading; Lefor; Louser; Olson; Ruby, D.; Ruby, M.; Schatz; Schmidt; Simons; Streyle; Toman

NAYS: Anderson, B.; Anderson, D.; Anderson, P.; Beadle; Becker, Rich S.; Blum; Boe; Boehning; Bosch; Boschee; Brandenburg; Carlson; Damschen; Delmore; Delzer; Devlin; Dobervich; Dockter; Grueneich; Guggisberg; Hanson; Hatlestad; Headland; Heinert; Hogan; Holman; Howe; Johnson, C.; Johnson, D.; Johnson, M.; Jones; Karls; Kasper; Keiser; Kempenich; Kiefert; Klemin; Koppelman, K.; Kreidt; Laning; Longmuir; Magrum; Maragos; Marschall; Martinson; McWilliams; Meier; Mitskog; Mock; Monson; Nelson, J.; Nelson, M.; O'Brien; Oliver; Paur; Pollert; Porter; Pyle; Roers Jones; Sanford; Satrom; Schneider; Schobinger; Schreiber-Beck; Seibel; Skroch; Steiner; Sukut; Trottier; Vetter; Vigesaa; Weisz; Westlind; Zubke; Speaker Bellew

HB 1260 Unemployment for locked out workers
(Yeas are for workers. Nay are against)

YEAS: Anderson, P.; Boe; Boschee; Delmore; Dobervich; Guggisberg; Hanson; Hogan; Holman; Maragos; McWilliams; Mitskog; Mock; Nelson, M.; Schneider

NAYS: Anderson, B.; Anderson, D.; Beadle; Becker, Rich S.; Becker, Rick C.; Blum; Boehning; Bosch; Brabandt; Brandenburg; Carlson; Damschen; Delzer; Devlin; Dockter; Ertelt; Grueneich; Hatlestad; Headland; Heinert; Howe; Johnson,C.; Johnson, D.; Johnson, M.; Johnston; Jones; Kading; Karls; Kasper; Keiser; Kempenich; Kiefert; Klemin; Koppelman, K.; Kreidt; Laning; Lefor; Longmuir; Louser; Magrum; Marschall; Martinson; Meier; Monson; Nelson, J.; O'Brien; Oliver; Olson; Paur; Pollert; Porter; Pyle; Roers Jones; Ruby, D.; Ruby, M.; Sanford; Satrom; Schatz; Schmidt; Schobinger; Schreiber-Beck; Seibel; Simons; Skroch; Steiner; Streyle; Sukut; Toman; Trottier; Vetter; Vigesaa; Weisz; Westlind; Zubke; Speaker Bellew

HB 1261 Division C—WSI protections for emergency volunteers
(Yeas are for workers. Nay are against)

YEAS: Anderson, P.; Beadle; Boe; Boschee; Delmore; Dobervich; Guggisberg; Hanson; Hogan; Holman; Kading; Maragos; Mitskog; Mock; Nelson, M.; Olson; Porter; Schreiber-Beck

NAYS: Anderson, B.; Becker, Rich S.; Becker, Rick C.; Blum; Boehning; Bosch; Brabandt; Brandenburg; Carlson; Damschen; Delzer; Devlin; Dockter; Ertelt; Grueneich; Hatlestad; Headland; Heinert; Howe; Johnson, C.; Johnson, D.; Johnson, M.; Jones; Karls; Kasper; Keiser; Kiefert; Klemin; Koppelman,K.; Kreidt; Laning; Lefor; Longmuir; Louser; Magrum; Marschall; Martinson; McWilliams; Meier; Monson; Nelson, J.; O'Brien; Oliver; Paur; Pollert; Pyle; Roers Jones; Ruby, D.; Ruby, M.; Sanford; Satrom; Schatz; Schmidt; Seibel; Simons; Skroch; Steiner; Streyle; Sukut; Toman; Trottier; Vetter; Vigesaa; Weisz; Zubke; Speaker Bellew

ABSENT AND NOT VOTING: Anderson, D.; Johnston; Kempenich; Koppelman, B.; Nathe; Owens; Rohr; Schneider; Schobinger; Westlind

Brothers and Sisters:

Last week ended the third week of the North Dakota 2017 legislature. In the bills that came up, Labor won one, lost a few more and some are still tied. I have to admit that this legislature is a difficult one for working people’s issues. In every committee, we have only a few allies and a couple of neutrals, and the rest… It will be a difficult fight, but that just means that we have to try harder, and we will.


At the bottom, I am including how each member voted on the house floor for the important bills. I feel that as working people, we need to hold these people accountable, so feel free to email them your thoughts. There are many new representatives who are from union strong districts who are voting against Labor continuously. They need to be educated to their constituents needs.


First, let’s cover our big victory. Representative Louser introduced HB 1230 that would have cut the maximum weeks of unemployment insurance from 26 weeks to 16. Undoubtedly, this would have proved a disaster for Building Trades members and anyone facing a layoff in the future. In response, the Trades packed the room with Union members and that made quite a difference and certainly changed the tone of the committee. Jason Ehlert, Stacy Bendish and myself all testified about the effects this bill would have, and after some discussion the committee recommended a no vote. Though this was a victory there were several house members who still voted to cut our safety net so please look below.


Representative Marvin Nelson introduced three bills that would have helped working people across the state. Unfortunately, these were all needlessly shot down.


HB-1260 would have reversed the law that stripped unemployment benefits from locked out workers. This is a terrible injustice in that being locked out of work is not a choice that working people are in control of. To deny locked out workers unemployment benefits—as they did during the Crystal Sugar Lockout— is absurd. The legislature disagreed, however, and the state will continue to take the company’s side in labor disputes by putting financial pressure on locked out workers to settle for less. (See below to see how your representative voted)


HB 1261 would have given volunteer emergency personnel WSI protections for heart attacks and strokes that happened within 24 hours of responding to an emergency event. It also would have given them some coverage for PTSD caused by the truly terrible events those people may go through. Nelson then split out each element of this bill so it could be voted on separately and make it more palatable. Absurdly, they were all still voted down overwhelmingly in a party line vote despite the Wednesday killing of one deputy and the injury of another in Rolette County. The heroism and sense of duty in these first responders across the state is exhibited every day. However this seemingly was outweighed by the need to keep WSI premiums at rock bottom. (Again, see below to see how your representative voted)



HB 1262 would have studied the idea of placing WSI under the Insurance commissioner to put it coverage more in line of what we expect from private coverage. This bill was destroyed.


The last important bill heard last week was HB 1193. This would have made it a class C felony to commit a misdemeanor while causing economic harm. Now this bill is obviously aimed at the DAPL protestors, but if anyone looks closely at this monstrosity, it could easily be used against us as Union Labor. Every strike, rally, or protest is meant to put economic pressure on a company. That is the purpose of those events. So if in the course of a strike, someone crosses the company gate obstructing strikebreakers from entering the plant for a minute, or does one of a thousand other things that happen in nearly every strike, they would be facing a $1000 fine and a felony with and all of the consequences that has… like losing rights to firearms, etc.


I felt strongly that in the long term this was the worst bill so far and stood against along with the ACLU and an attorney. I know we made an impact on the committee and have a good chance of this one being shot down, but I will be watching this one carefully. It will likely come up in “committee work” this week so I am showing up every day to make certain that I am there.


Next week, several more bills are coming forward. Tuesday has HB 1401 which would allow police and firefighters to collectively bargain. The fact that our state stands against this bewildering, and we will be supporting this bill, needless to say.


HB 1405 deals with studying the status of women and the pay inequity between the genders in North Dakota. This is something that we need to be supporting as nearly all union contracts guarantee equal pay for equal work as a basic tenant. We can both support women’s rights and promote unionism simultaneously.


HB 1400 demands that companies which contract to do work for the state show that they pay both men and women equivalently. Again, as this is part of basic unionism, it should be something we should stand together on. I will be testifying at both, but anyone willing to testify for either of these bills should call me at (701) 595-3334. Having rank and file workers there is so important.


Voting Records

Please study how your representatives voted and don’t be shy about letting them know how you feel. There are many new representatives from formerly union friendly districts that need to know what workers need.


HB 1230 Cutting maximum week of unemployment

(Yeas are against Labor and Nays are for)


YEAS: Becker, Rick C.; Brabandt; Ertelt; Johnston; Kading; Lefor; Louser; Olson; Ruby, D.; Ruby, M.; Schatz; Schmidt; Simons; Streyle; Toman


NAYS: Anderson, B.; Anderson, D.; Anderson, P.; Beadle; Becker, Rich S.; Blum; Boe; Boehning; Bosch; Boschee; Brandenburg; Carlson; Damschen; Delmore; Delzer; Devlin; Dobervich; Dockter; Grueneich; Guggisberg; Hanson; Hatlestad; Headland; Heinert; Hogan; Holman; Howe; Johnson, C.; Johnson, D.; Johnson, M.; Jones; Karls; Kasper; Keiser; Kempenich; Kiefert; Klemin; Koppelman, K.; Kreidt; Laning; Longmuir; Magrum; Maragos; Marschall; Martinson; McWilliams; Meier; Mitskog; Mock; Monson; Nelson, J.; Nelson, M.; O'Brien; Oliver; Paur; Pollert; Porter; Pyle; Roers Jones; Sanford; Satrom; Schneider; Schobinger; Schreiber-Beck; Seibel; Skroch; Steiner; Sukut; Trottier; Vetter; Vigesaa; Weisz; Westlind; Zubke; Speaker Bellew


HB 1260 Unemployment for locked out workers

(Yeas are for workers. Nay are against)


YEAS: Anderson, P.; Boe; Boschee; Delmore; Dobervich; Guggisberg; Hanson; Hogan; Holman; Maragos; McWilliams; Mitskog; Mock; Nelson, M.; Schneider


NAYS: Anderson, B.; Anderson, D.; Beadle; Becker, Rich S.; Becker, Rick C.; Blum; Boehning; Bosch; Brabandt; Brandenburg; Carlson; Damschen; Delzer; Devlin; Dockter; Ertelt; Grueneich; Hatlestad; Headland; Heinert; Howe; Johnson,C.; Johnson, D.; Johnson, M.; Johnston; Jones; Kading; Karls; Kasper; Keiser; Kempenich; Kiefert; Klemin; Koppelman, K.; Kreidt; Laning; Lefor; Longmuir; Louser; Magrum; Marschall; Martinson; Meier; Monson; Nelson, J.; O'Brien; Oliver; Olson; Paur; Pollert; Porter; Pyle; Roers Jones; Ruby, D.; Ruby, M.; Sanford; Satrom; Schatz; Schmidt; Schobinger; Schreiber-Beck; Seibel; Simons; Skroch; Steiner; Streyle; Sukut; Toman; Trottier; Vetter; Vigesaa; Weisz; Westlind; Zubke; Speaker Bellew



HB 1261 Division C—WSI protections for emergency volunteers

(Yeas are for workers. Nay are against)


YEAS: Anderson, P.; Beadle; Boe; Boschee; Delmore; Dobervich; Guggisberg; Hanson; Hogan; Holman; Kading; Maragos; Mitskog; Mock; Nelson, M.; Olson; Porter; Schreiber-Beck

NAYS: Anderson, B.; Becker, Rich S.; Becker, Rick C.; Blum; Boehning; Bosch; Brabandt; Brandenburg; Carlson; Damschen; Delzer; Devlin; Dockter; Ertelt; Grueneich; Hatlestad; Headland; Heinert; Howe; Johnson, C.; Johnson, D.; Johnson, M.; Jones; Karls; Kasper; Keiser; Kiefert; Klemin; Koppelman,K.; Kreidt; Laning; Lefor; Longmuir; Louser; Magrum; Marschall; Martinson; McWilliams; Meier; Monson; Nelson, J.; O'Brien; Oliver; Paur; Pollert; Pyle; Roers Jones; Ruby, D.; Ruby, M.; Sanford; Satrom; Schatz; Schmidt; Seibel; Simons; Skroch; Steiner; Streyle; Sukut; Toman; Trottier; Vetter; Vigesaa; Weisz; Zubke; Speaker Bellew

ABSENT AND NOT VOTING: Anderson, D.; Johnston; Kempenich; Koppelman, B.; Nathe; Owens; Rohr; Schneider; Schobinger; Westlind


North Dakota AFL-CIO Legislature Watch

Week ending 1-20-17


Last week ended the third week of the North Dakota 2017 legislature. In the bills that came up, Labor won one, lost a few more and some are still tied. I have to admit that this legislature is a difficult one for working people’s issues. In every committee, we have only a few allies and a couple of neutrals, and the rest… It will be a difficult fight, but that just means that we have to try harder, and we will.


At the bottom, I am including how each member voted on the house floor for the important bills. I feel that as working people, we need to hold these people accountable, so feel free to email them your thoughts. There are many new representatives who are from union strong districts who are voting against Labor continuously. They need to be educated to their constituents needs.


First, let’s cover our big victory. Representative Louser introduced HB 1230 that would have cut the maximum weeks of unemployment insurance from 26 weeks to 16. Undoubtedly, this would have proved a disaster for Building Trades members and anyone facing a layoff in the future. In response, the Trades packed the room with Union members and that made quite a difference and certainly changed the tone of the committee. Jason Ehlert, Stacy Bendish and myself all testified about the effects this bill would have, and after some discussion the committee recommended a no vote. Though this was a victory there were several house members who still voted to cut our safety net so please look below.


Representative Marvin Nelson introduced three bills that would have helped working people across the state. Unfortunately, these were all needlessly shot down.


HB-1260 would have reversed the law that stripped unemployment benefits from locked out workers. This is a terrible injustice in that being locked out of work is not a choice that working people are in control of. To deny locked out workers unemployment benefits—as they did during the Crystal Sugar Lockout— is absurd. The legislature disagreed, however, and the state will continue to take the company’s side in labor disputes by putting financial pressure on locked out workers to settle for less. (See below to see how your representative voted)


HB 1261 would have given volunteer emergency personnel WSI protections for heart attacks and strokes that happened within 24 hours of responding to an emergency event. It also would have given them some coverage for PTSD caused by the truly terrible events those people may go through. Nelson then split out each element of this bill so it could be voted on separately and make it more palatable. Absurdly, they were all still voted down overwhelmingly in a party line vote despite the Wednesday killing of one deputy and the injury of another in Rolette County. The heroism and sense of duty in these first responders across the state is exhibited every day. However this seemingly was outweighed by the need to keep WSI premiums at rock bottom. (Again, see below to see how your representative voted)



HB 1262 would have studied the idea of placing WSI under the Insurance commissioner to put it coverage more in line of what we expect from private coverage. This bill was destroyed.


The last important bill heard last week was HB 1193. This would have made it a class C felony to commit a misdemeanor while causing economic harm. Now this bill is obviously aimed at the DAPL protestors, but if anyone looks closely at this monstrosity, it could easily be used against us as Union Labor. Every strike, rally, or protest is meant to put economic pressure on a company. That is the purpose of those events. So if in the course of a strike, someone crosses the company gate obstructing strikebreakers from entering the plant for a minute, or does one of a thousand other things that happen in nearly every strike, they would be facing a $1000 fine and a felony with and all of the consequences that has… like losing rights to firearms, etc.


I felt strongly that in the long term this was the worst bill so far and stood against along with the ACLU and an attorney. I know we made an impact on the committee and have a good chance of this one being shot down, but I will be watching this one carefully. It will likely come up in “committee work” this week so I am showing up every day to make certain that I am there.


Next week, several more bills are coming forward. Tuesday has HB 1401 which would allow police and firefighters to collectively bargain. The fact that our state stands against this bewildering, and we will be supporting this bill, needless to say.


HB 1405 deals with studying the status of women and the pay inequity between the genders in North Dakota. This is something that we need to be supporting as nearly all union contracts guarantee equal pay for equal work as a basic tenant. We can both support women’s rights and promote unionism simultaneously.


HB 1400 demands that companies which contract to do work for the state show that they pay both men and women equivalently. Again, as this is part of basic unionism, it should be something we should stand together on. I will be testifying at both, but anyone willing to testify for either of these bills should call me at (701) 595-3334. Having rank and file workers there is so important.


Voting Records

Please study how your representatives voted and don’t be shy about letting them know how you feel. There are many new representatives from formerly union friendly districts that need to know what workers need.


HB 1230 Cutting maximum week of unemployment

(Yeas are against Labor and Nays are for)


YEAS: Becker, Rick C.; Brabandt; Ertelt; Johnston; Kading; Lefor; Louser; Olson; Ruby, D.; Ruby, M.; Schatz; Schmidt; Simons; Streyle; Toman


NAYS: Anderson, B.; Anderson, D.; Anderson, P.; Beadle; Becker, Rich S.; Blum; Boe; Boehning; Bosch; Boschee; Brandenburg; Carlson; Damschen; Delmore; Delzer; Devlin; Dobervich; Dockter; Grueneich; Guggisberg; Hanson; Hatlestad; Headland; Heinert; Hogan; Holman; Howe; Johnson, C.; Johnson, D.; Johnson, M.; Jones; Karls; Kasper; Keiser; Kempenich; Kiefert; Klemin; Koppelman, K.; Kreidt; Laning; Longmuir; Magrum; Maragos; Marschall; Martinson; McWilliams; Meier; Mitskog; Mock; Monson; Nelson, J.; Nelson, M.; O'Brien; Oliver; Paur; Pollert; Porter; Pyle; Roers Jones; Sanford; Satrom; Schneider; Schobinger; Schreiber-Beck; Seibel; Skroch; Steiner; Sukut; Trottier; Vetter; Vigesaa; Weisz; Westlind; Zubke; Speaker Bellew


HB 1260 Unemployment for locked out workers

(Yeas are for workers. Nay are against)


YEAS: Anderson, P.; Boe; Boschee; Delmore; Dobervich; Guggisberg; Hanson; Hogan; Holman; Maragos; McWilliams; Mitskog; Mock; Nelson, M.; Schneider


NAYS: Anderson, B.; Anderson, D.; Beadle; Becker, Rich S.; Becker, Rick C.; Blum; Boehning; Bosch; Brabandt; Brandenburg; Carlson; Damschen; Delzer; Devlin; Dockter; Ertelt; Grueneich; Hatlestad; Headland; Heinert; Howe; Johnson,C.; Johnson, D.; Johnson, M.; Johnston; Jones; Kading; Karls; Kasper; Keiser; Kempenich; Kiefert; Klemin; Koppelman, K.; Kreidt; Laning; Lefor; Longmuir; Louser; Magrum; Marschall; Martinson; Meier; Monson; Nelson, J.; O'Brien; Oliver; Olson; Paur; Pollert; Porter; Pyle; Roers Jones; Ruby, D.; Ruby, M.; Sanford; Satrom; Schatz; Schmidt; Schobinger; Schreiber-Beck; Seibel; Simons; Skroch; Steiner; Streyle; Sukut; Toman; Trottier; Vetter; Vigesaa; Weisz; Westlind; Zubke; Speaker Bellew



HB 1261 Division C—WSI protections for emergency volunteers

(Yeas are for workers. Nay are against)


YEAS: Anderson, P.; Beadle; Boe; Boschee; Delmore; Dobervich; Guggisberg; Hanson; Hogan; Holman; Kading; Maragos; Mitskog; Mock; Nelson, M.; Olson; Porter; Schreiber-Beck

NAYS: Anderson, B.; Becker, Rich S.; Becker, Rick C.; Blum; Boehning; Bosch; Brabandt; Brandenburg; Carlson; Damschen; Delzer; Devlin; Dockter; Ertelt; Grueneich; Hatlestad; Headland; Heinert; Howe; Johnson, C.; Johnson, D.; Johnson, M.; Jones; Karls; Kasper; Keiser; Kiefert; Klemin; Koppelman,K.; Kreidt; Laning; Lefor; Longmuir; Louser; Magrum; Marschall; Martinson; McWilliams; Meier; Monson; Nelson, J.; O'Brien; Oliver; Paur; Pollert; Pyle; Roers Jones; Ruby, D.; Ruby, M.; Sanford; Satrom; Schatz; Schmidt; Seibel; Simons; Skroch; Steiner; Streyle; Sukut; Toman; Trottier; Vetter; Vigesaa; Weisz; Zubke; Speaker Bellew

ABSENT AND NOT VOTING: Anderson, D.; Johnston; Kempenich; Koppelman, B.; Nathe; Owens; Rohr; Schneider; Schobinger; Westlind