What Just Came Out of the North Dakota Legislature?

Date: May 30, 2023

NFIB webinar explains the big issues of importance to small businesses

Bringing our members the vital information on their ability to own, operate, and grow their enterprises is one of the many benefits of membership in NFIB, and one such example occurred May 25 when NFIB hosted a Session Wrap Webinar on the legislative initiatives undertaken in the 2023 session of the North Dakota Legislative Assembly—the last one before term limits on state lawmakers take effect.

Led by NFIB North Dakota State Director Alison Ritter and Don Larson, NFIB’s chief legislative advocate, small-business owners were apprised of the outcome of legislation both helpful and potentially harmful to them.

From the 932 bills and 56 resolutions introduced in this year’s session, Larson distilled to around a dozen the ones of biggest impact on small businesses. On the positive side of the ledger, those included:

  • income-tax relief
  • property-tax relief
  • child-care assistance
  • labor law clarification on minors working in construction
  • a huge change in how state employees will be compensated in their retirement and why it was needed
  • water
  • flood control.

Among the legislation NFIB succeeded in pushing back on, or forestalling until more information was available, were measures dealing with:

  • mandatory paid leave
  • the minimum wage
  • E-verification of job-seekers.

Larson also explained why North Dakota often gets outsized national attention on some of the social issues that crop up in its legislature. “In North Dakota, we have a unique process a lot of other states don’t. Every single bill that gets introduced has a hearing and goes to the floor in the original chamber. So, sometimes when you hear about North Dakota making national news … it’s because everything gets a vote in North Dakota It’s not hidden away.”

Readers wanting more information on how other states deal with legislation they don’t want to deal with can check out Understanding How a California Bill Dies Without Public Debate for one example. And, what is NFIB’s position on some of the social issues that emerge in legislatures? Check out this one-page explanation for the answer to Why Doesn’t NFIB Take a Position on This Issue 2020?

Changes Coming to Bismarck

Larson also speculated on what new term limits placed on legislators will mean for the legislative process: a move away from biennial sessions to yearly ones, more robust interim sessions?

Ben Abrahamson, NFIB’s Grassroots Manager for North Dakota, closed the 30-minute webinar, which can be seen at the link above or by clicking the graphic below, with an explanation of how member involvement influences the legislative process and how NFIB member can get more involved.

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