My most recent weekly email was entitled, “A Time for Legislators to be Bold”. It spoke about the Biden Administration’s assault on families and pro-life values and made the point that with ND legislative sessions only every other year, there will be a two-year period where we as a state have little to no recourse to stand for our state’s traditional values, while being trampled by the Left’s agenda. The email was a call to action for legislators to be bold and take stands NOW to anticipate and address the edicts coming from DC. The legislative session has now ended, and I have to ask, were our legislators bold?
The answer is both yes and no. Yes, the legislature passed bills to codify freedom of speech on public university campuses, allow those in state institutions greater freedom to worship according to their beliefs, increase individual income tax credits for charitable contributions, stop the legalization of recreational marijuana, and other important goals. These were all wins from our perspective at Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota, and hard-fought wins in many cases.
We were very honored to be part of the efforts behind all these bills, as were many other organizations and individuals, and were pleased that the legislature and Governor stepped up and were bold. If that were the end of the story, it would be a fairy tale ending, but it’s not.
There were very important bills where the legislature and Governor Burgum were not bold and listened to the voices of special interests instead of yours. The most obvious of these was the Fairness in Girls’ Sports bill, HB1298. It very simply would ensure that girls’ sports would be reserved for biological females and that they wouldn’t be forced to compete against biological boys. Makes sense, right? The House thought so, but the Governor vetoed the bill and then upon reconsideration in the Senate, enough senators voted against it to kill it. A similar story played out with a number of education bills that would have provided more educational choice in our state. They were defeated in both the House and Senate, depending on the particular bill.
Finally, one important bill remains, SB2030, the pro-life bill that would prohibit public universities from using challenge grant money to fund any entity that is associated with abortions. It passed both chambers by large margins and is still sitting with Governor Burgum, despite the fact that session has ended. We will see what he does with it. It could be decided later today.
So, was our legislature bold? Many times it was, and we thank them for it. However, on some key pro-family bills it was not, and that is sad. While we as an organization are nonpartisan, I still would have thought that a “deep red” state, with Republican supermajorities in both the House and Senate, and a Republican governor, would have passed these important bills. Apparently, I was expecting too much.
What now? The fight goes on. Between sessions, Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota works to inform and mobilize voters to get more involved with political issues and exercise biblical citizenship. We are here to help make your voices heard on key bills, like those described above, and on critical issues that arise between sessions. We desperately need that right now in today’s political and cultural war.
We at Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota don’t want a few voices speaking up for biblical values, for girls, for the unborn. We want an avalanche of voices! We want to make it impossible for members of the legislature and Governor Burgum to ignore you and your values.
For North Dakota,
President and Executive Director
P.S. In an upcoming email I plan to summarize more of the key wins and losses from this session.