N.D. Legislature Day 22: smoking, ladybug, motto

The North Dakota House defeated a bill that would have banned smoking in vehicles if children younger than 13 were present.

The bill died on a 28-66 vote.

The bill stems from a group of Williston students who told lawmakers about the harmful effects of smoking and spoke of their personal health problems from secondhand smoke.

The House Transportation Committee gave the bill a do-not pass recommendation due to concerns about taking a legal activity like smoking and making it illegal in private property. There was also concern from lawmakers about the ability of law enforcement to enforce the law.

Ladybug bill flies through

The North Dakota House voted 88-6 to make the ladybug the state insect.

The bill will now move to the Senate. Here is the official wording of the bill:

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

There were chuckles in the House since Rep. Thomas Beadle, R-Fargo, stood up to promote the beetle bill.

The bill stems from a group of Kenmare second-graders who learned how ladybugs help the state’s crops by eating aphids.

Latin motto moves on

The North Dakota House voted 75-19 to create an official Latin motto for the state.

The motto would be “Serit ut alteri saeclo prosit,” which means “One sows for the benefit of another age.”

A group of Fargo North students promoted the bill. Bill sponsor Rep. Joe Heilman, R-Fargo, has said it’s a fitting motto, tying into agriculture and saving oil revenues for the future.

Twenty-three other states and territories have Latin mottos. The bill now moves to the Senate.

 Kelsey Smith Act

The North Dakota House unanimously passed a bill that would require cell phone companies to cooperate with law enforcement in emergency situations.

House Bill 1205, also known as the Kelsey Smith Act, is in honor of a Kansas teen who was kidnapped, raped and murdered.

Rep. Shirley Meyer, D-Dickinson, said it took four days for the cell phone company to provide information to her family and law enforcement to help find her.

Although the law would not have saved Smith, it could help save the lives of other victims, Meyer said.

The bill now moves to the Senate.

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