Legislative Update

Terry B. Jones

District 4 Representative

Hello from Bismarck, Feb 19, 2021

I hope the warmer weather is finding everyone well.  I hope those of you that were having calves were able to keep the little guys alive.

The pace at the capital has slowed from breakneck speed to a fast trot as we approach crossover. 

We finished all our bills in Judiciary committee on Wednesday and the ones in Transportation committee on Thursday.

I carried HB1287 on the house floor to get enhanced penalties for drug dealers if there is a death from the use of a controlled substance that they sold.  It passed the house floor overwhelmingly and will go on to the Senate.

In the Judiciary committee we worked HB1105.  This bill deals with breastfeeding.  The regulation on breastfeeding was located in the obscenity section of our century code.  The committee felt there is nothing obscene about a woman breast feeding her child so we removed it from the obscenity section of the century code.  We amended the breast feeding law in 23-12-16 (right to breastfeed – penalty) to allow a woman to breastfeed her child any place that she and her child are allowed to be.  This bill will come to the floor in the near future.

We had a group of gambling bills that came through committee.  Most of them were sent onto the floor to see if there is an appetite for expanding gambling in North Dakota to include online poker and online gambling.  This will affect the Tribes by allowing them to do online gambling as well as some concern that these gambling expansions take away from the income the Tribes receive from the casinos.

In the Judiciary committee we worked again on civil asset forfeiture.  I think we got some major improvements in the reporting by working with Rep. Satrum, Rep. Becker, and the Attorney General’s office.

The last bill we worked on in the Transportation committee dealt with mechanic’s lien on vehicles or farm equipment that get left at a dealer’s business.  If these vehicles get left because the repair bill is more than the vehicle or equipment is worth the dealers would be allowed to sell the equipment and work with the bankers or other lien holders to make sure everyone’s property interest is protected.

I was able to spend some time developing a resolution for the States to look into the 2020 election but the time to introduce resolution’s has past, in North Dakota, so I will perfect the language and see if it can be introduced in other States that still have time to introduce new resolutions.

We also worked on the Social Media Censorship Act.  We got it passed through the Committee and I hope to get it passed through the House next week.  The complaints about censorship continue to come in from constituents and friends.  We will see what we can do to address this issue to protect North Dakotan’s right to free speech.

Have a great week and as always, you are welcome to contact me with questions or concerns,

Terry Jones

[email protected]     701.627.3397