North Dakota AFL-CIO Legislature Watch Week ending 2-15-19

Sisters and Brothers,

At the legislature, things are slowing down as we approach crossover where all the bills that passed in each chamber are then given to the other chamber. This coming week will start the crossover break.

We still have had some bills that would affect Labor hit to the house floor and be voted on. For instance, HB-1063 failed in the House. This was a bill that without medical evidence placed the entire burden of solving the opioid crisis on the workers.

HB-1217 which would have made it mandatory for state government to use private industry in nearly all cases thankfully failed in the house. This would have chipped away at the State Bank’s and State Mill’s stability along with hundreds of other public services and threatened employees.

1193 will be up for a floor vote early this week. This is the bill that prohibits any city or county from implementing its own minimum wage. It has a do pass recommendation coming out of committee but the vote was closer than expected at 9-5 in support so not everyone agrees it’s a good idea. The ND AFL-CIO was the only opponent of this bill in committee.

Also coming up soon is HB-1375 which would make current nonpartisan elections, such as city and county commissioner races, partisan. In this highly divided world where partisanship is already damaging our nation, this is a terrible idea.

And last are the two ethics bills, the better SB-2148 and the worse HB-1521. Both will be voted on by their respective houses this week. The North Dakota AFL-CIO supports the senate version over the house as it is stricter and would be more effective at keeping our elected officials ethical. The House version is a “do less than the minimum required and see if anyone can make us do more.”

The hearings have also included some cringeworthy moments where citizens offering testimony were subjected to less than professional behavior.

Until next week…

Waylon Hedegaard
President/Secretary Treasurer
North Dakota AFL-CIO
[email protected]
(701) 595-3334