“LOL-cal” Control

May 15th, 2019

“LOL-cal” Control

(BISMARCK, ND) – To win the hearts and minds of constituents, Republicans have long campaigned on the concept that governing decisions are best left to local officials. But do they actually believe in local control? This last Legislative session could have fooled us.

Business owners should always make responsible decisions to serve all their customers, but should the Government force them too? Representative Ben Koppelman (R-West Fargo) introduced HB 1160 which would have made it a Class A misdemeanor to refuse to sell someone a firearm – with up to one-year imprisonment and a maximum of $3,000 in fines. This bill was defeated in the House.

Public Safety was also a target this session. According to the CDC, sobriety checkpoints reduce alcohol-related fatalities, injury, and property damage by about 20 percent. However, that didn’t stop 12 Republican legislators, including Senator Scott Meyer (R-Grand Forks) from introducing HB 1442 which would have prohibited sobriety checkpoints. The Senate gave this bill a thumbs down.

Many towns and cities already have their own ordinances regarding the use of drones, but if Representatives Luke Simons (R-Dickinson) and Steve Vetter (R-Grand Forks) had their way, HB 1493 would have effectively banned the use of drones for aerial photography. Mapping companies and real-estate agencies utilize this technology frequently, and when used in a safe manner, it is an extremely useful tool.

As this failed legislation shows, Legislative Republicans may prefer to campaign on local control, but once they get elected, it’s all about their control.