Capitol Chatter

By Bilal Suleiman
and Diane Newberry
North Dakota Newspaper

Motorcycle Meme
Rep. Dan Ruby, R-Minot, left a picture on the desks of other representatives ahead of a contentious seat belt bill, SB 2060, which would have tightened the state seat belt law and increased the fine for non-compliance from $20 to $50. The photo showed a motorcycle cop pulling over a car with the caption, “When a cop on a motorcycle gives you a ticket for no seat belt, you realize it’s not about safety.” Ruby, a motorcycle rider himself, said he hoped the stunt “might have some impact” on the floor vote, but he said he didn’t expect the bill to pass anyway. He was right, as after 40 minutes of passionate debate, the bill failed 38-54.
Mathern Mulls Measure 1
“It’s drawing in more power to elected officials,”and “people already have lowering trust of government,” Sen. Tim Mathern, D-Fargo, said in opposition to SCR 4015. The resolution would amend the Constitution to raise the voting requirements for citizen-initiated measures to 60 percent of the vote, among other stricter requirements. If passed, SCR 4015 would go to a vote of the people during the next election. Mathern is the primary sponsor of a bill that would implement Measure 1, a citizen-initiated measure which passed last November with 54 percent of the vote. Mathern sent out a press release March 6 declaring that the senate resolution would “silence the people” and “take their voice away.”