N.D. legislative update

BISMARCK—The North Dakota Senate killed a bill on Monday that would have required at least three feet between vehicles and bicycles on the road.

Sen. Gary Lee, R-Casselton, said the bill was brought forward on behalf of bicycle enthusiasts with the intent to create a safer shared roadway and to better define the relationship between cars and bikes.

However, doubt about whether there would be “consistent, meaningful” enforcement was an issue for the Transportation Committee, Lee said.

Using Department of Transportation grant funds to better educate the public on the matter was determined to be a better alternative, he said.

The bill failed on a 17-29 vote. 

Sports concussions

An amended bill aimed at better protecting student athletes from concussions has a do-pass committee recommendation.

Senate Bill 2281 would require school districts to follow a concussion management program if they sponsor or sanction athletic activities that require students to regularly practice, train and compete.

Students would be removed from practice or competition if they exhibit or report any symptoms of a concussion. They then must be examined by a licensed health care provider and would need written clearance to return to the sport.

The bill also requires coaches to receive biennial training about the nature and risk of concussion, including the risk of play after a concussion or head injury.

“As we get our athletes bigger, stronger and faster, we need to do things to ensure that we can deal with the results of those intense interactions on the sports field,” Sen. Tim Flakoll, R-Fargo, said.

The amended bill doesn’t require political subdivisions, like park districts, to have similar programs, he said. 

Fake IDs

A bill that would allow businesses to seize fake IDs and turn them over to law enforcement also has a do-pass recommendation.

If there is reasonable belief the ID is being used to unlawfully obtain alcohol, the business can take the ID and must notify law enforcement within 24 hours.

The bill would require law enforcement to respond within 24 hours. 

Tuition

The House Education Committee gave a do-not pass recommendation to a bill that would freeze tuition at North Dakota’s public colleges.

The party-line vote had 10 Republicans against the tuition freeze and four Democrats supporting it, said Rep. Corey Mock, D-Grand Forks, the bill sponsor.

The bill is House Bill 1301. 

Ladybug bill

North Dakota is one step closer to having the ladybug as the state insect.

A House committee gave the idea a do-pass recommendation, but amended the one-sentence proposal.

It now says, “The convergent lady beetle, hippodamia convergens, commonly known as a ladybug, is the official insect of the state of North Dakota.”

The previous bill said “ladybug, coccinella septempunctata.”

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