Legislation Introduced Today Addresses Minimum Wage, Divorce Waiting Periods, Drones And Firearm Confiscations

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Lots of interesting new bills introduced in the state legislature today. Here’s a run down of a few that caught my eye:

Department of Labor HB1369, introduced by Rep. Kathy Hawken, would re-name North Dakota’s Department of Labor to the Department of Labor and Human Rights. Can you say “mission creep?”

Drones HB1373, introduced by Rep. Rick Becker, would restrict the use of surveillance drones by law enforcement in the state (see my interview with Rep. Becker here). The law would require that law enforcement get a warrant for the use of drones in any sort of a criminal investigation, but would allow drone use without a warrant in exigent circumstances such as weather disasters and child abductions.

Minimum Wage HB1414, introduced by Rep. Steve Zaiser, would create a state minimum wage that would automatically increase along with inflation.

Family Law HB1423, introduced by Rep. Naomi Muscha, would require a six month waiting period for couples seeking to get divorced during which time they’d be required to attend “at least five one-hour counseling sessions” provided by clergy or any licensed counselor. Marriages in which there is evidence of domestic abuse would be exempted.

Federalism HB1428, introduced by Rep. Dave Monson, allows North Dakota to nullify presidential executive orders not approved by Congress:

The state of North Dakota reserves the right to review and, through the legislative assembly, approve or reject any executive order issued by the president of the United States which has not been affirmed by a vote of the United States Congress and signed into law as prescribed by the Constitution of the United States. The legislative management may review and temporarily suspend the implementation in this state of any such executive order not affirmed by the Congress until the legislative assembly, in the next regular or special legislative session, has the opportunity to consider each order referred to it by the legislative management. The legislative assembly may consider for approval or rejection any executive order issued since two calendar years before the effective date of this Act.

Gun Rights HB1467, introduced by Rep. Karen Karls, would prohibit the confiscation of firearms during a declared emergency.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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