Legislative Update

Terry B. Jones

District 4 Representative

Hello from Bismarck,

April 23, 2021

We have had a lot of exciting bills come out of conference committees this week.  It seems like a lot of important bills get put off until the last.

HB1323 that would prevent the State government from mandating masks was an exciting bill.  I heard from a lot of you folks at home that you wanted us to protect your freedom of choice.  I appreciate hearing from you.  We did get it passed, then the governor vetoed it.  The house handily overrode the governor’s veto but the Senate had to have 32 votes to override the veto and it only got 32 votes.  So the governor’s veto is overridden to prevent the state from mandating masks.  It needs to be understood that the Governor can still make recommendations and if there was a serious health threat the State Health Official can go to the courts to get authority to deal with what they need to.

The House overrode the Governor’s veto on the transgender boys playing in girls’ sports (HB1298).  I was sad that the Senate was not able to override his veto.  The effort to have the veto nullified would have required four more votes in the Senate.  I am sad for the girls who will be competing against biological males because it will probably effect scholarships and other things associated with athletics.  This issue is only one symptom of a far greater problem.  

The religion of secular humanism is being promoted on the national level at an accelerated rate.  There was a reason that our founding fathers wanted to see a separation of church and state.  There was never supposed to be a government promoted and protected religion while all others were treated differently.  The Supreme Court wrongfully recognized the religious tenet of sexual orientation in the courts interpretation of the 14th Amendment.  When the Supreme Court did this it entangled the U.S. Government with the religion of secular humanism.  The Supreme Court has ruled that secular humanism IS a religion for purposes in applying the 1st Amendment.  

By recognizing sexual orientation as a protected class the Court violated the establishment clause and the free exercise clause of the 1st Amendment.  Now we have the government allowing radical curriculum in schools, supporting nontraditional bathroom issues, manipulating adjectives, and a lot of other entanglements that were supposed to be prevented by government staying out of religion.  I will be bringing a bill next session to deal with this issue if we cannot work with some other state to get this issue in front of the Supreme Court.  I want to see all religions treated equally under the law.  The people who believe in the tenets of secular humanism should be treated the same as any other religion by the government.  They can believe how, where, and what they may but they cannot have their religion promoted and forced upon other people with the power of the Federal Government.

It looks like next week we will work Monday, Tuesday, and possibly Wednesday.  I hope can save as many days as possible in case of emergencies, federal overreach, or budget issues.

Thanks for all of your input this week.  If you have any other questions or ideas please contact me.  It is an honor and a privilege to serve all of you in District 4.

Terry B Jones  [email protected]