The Bastiat Caucus in the News

Gun legislation gets thumbs-up in committee

A lawmaker involved in refining a package of gun legislative proposals this week believes the state is closer than ever to successfully pushing through concealed carry in schools.

An amended version of House Bill 1310, which would permit schools to allow trained staff to have a concealed carry firearm was given a “do pass” recommendation Friday by a 10-2 vote.

Bills similar to HB1310 have passed the House in past sessions but have been killed in the Senate.

“I think we have a pretty good bill,” R-Chuck Damschen, R-Hampden, said.

North Dakota lawmakers take action on home schooling, marijuana penalties

The North Dakota House passed legislation that proponents said would help parents educating their children at home Thursday.

Current law requires students receiving a home education in grades four, six, eight and 10 to take a standardized test. But that requirement does not apply if the parent notifies the school district that they have a “philosophical, moral or religious objection” to the use of the standardized test and if the parent meets certain qualifications, such as being licensed to teach by the Education Standards and Practices Board.

Batch of gun bills close to floor votes

The tail end of the first half of this legislative session will go out with a bang in a couple weeks as more than a dozen bills relating to firearms law will head to the floor of their respective chambers.

Among those being deliberated include concealed carry in schools as well as a bill proposing “constitutional carry” in North Dakota, which would allow people over the age of 21 to carry without a permit if not otherwise prohibited by law.

Bill to reject N.D. higher education ‘safe spaces’ passes House

GRAND FORKS — A bill described by its sponsor as a means to ensure freedom of speech in North Dakota higher education by rejecting “political correctness gone crazy” has passed in the state House.

Rep. Rick Becker, R-Bismarck, sponsor of House Bill 1329, said the proposed legislation is a response to an “attitude that free speech is not free speech” on campuses where he said expression is discouraged by university policy.

Though the House Education Committee gave a “do not pass” recommendation, the measure passed 65 to 25 on Monday. It needed 48 votes to pass the House.

Common Core bill dies in North Dakota House

It was deja vu on the North Dakota House floor Tuesday as proponents of the elimination of Common Core were delivered a setback for the second consecutive session when lawmakers rejected a bill that would have opted out of the standards.

The defeat of House Bill 1432 comes two years to the week of the defeat of a bill to withdraw from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium during the 2015 session. The consortium is a collection of states that developed a standardized test which students take each spring to measure their ability to meet Common Core standards.

Proposal would limit who introduces bills

A bill that would remove nearly all direct introduction of legislation from the executive and judicial branches of North Dakota state government drew a rebuke from state agency officials who contend that it would diminish efficiencies in pursuing changes to policy.

Supporters of House Bill 1397 called it a separation-of-powers question, saying putting the power of introducing legislation solely in the hands of the Legislature is more appropriate than allowing agencies to do so.

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