Bismarck, ND – Yesterday, the North Dakota House ignored the will of the people by shooting down HB 1024, which sought to provide Constitutionally mandated funding for the State Ethics Commission created by the voters of North Dakota in the 2018 general election. Following the vote, HB 1024 was rereferred to the House Appropriations Committee for further deliberation.
In a fashion that has quickly become the theme of this legislative session – hypocrisy, recklessness, and extremism – NDGOP legislators sought to disregard the Constitution in a shameless effort to subvert the will of the people. Citing “issues” with the director of the commission being a retired pensioner, lawmakers conveniently glossed over the fact that the same could be said of many of their own membership. Ignorance being bliss, one may be inclined to forgive this double standard had NDGOP legislators, including Rep. Jim Kasper who chaired the House Ethics Committee during the 2019 legislative session, made it clear that their opposition was based on one thing: an unshakable fear that the people who elected them would also hold them to a higher standard. This higher standard, in part, includes bringing solutions and necessary services for their communities instead of being bought and paid for with lavish steak and lobster dinners courtesy of lobbyists and out-of-state corporate executives.
Democratic-NPL Chair, Kylie Oversen said:
“The Ethics Commission was passed by the will of the people – Republicans, Dem-NPLers, and Independents alike. From the moment the legislative session was gaveled in, the unhinged supermajority, led by the most unhinged of them all, Rep. Jim Kasper, has made every attempt under the sun to strip the Ethics Commission, and yourselves, of the inherent right to hold legislators and state officials accountable. If the Republican legislators are legitimately concerned about costs, ask them to withdraw all of the unconstitutional bills that accomplish nothing more than wasting taxpayer dollars on expensive lawsuits.”