Lawmaker Says Committee Wouldn't Allow Amendments To Common Core Bill


This week HB1461, which would withdraw North Dakota from the controversial Common Core standards and establish a process for the state creating its own standards, will get a vote on the floor of the House. But the lawmaker sponsoring the legislation, Rep. Jim Kasper, is first going to ask lawmakers to amend the bill on the floor.

It’s an unusual procedure, one that’s not often attempted as these bills are typically amended in committee, but Kasper says it’s necessary because the Rep. Mike Nathe, the chairman of the House Education Committee, did not support adding Rep. Kasper’s amendment to the bill.

Kasper says it’s tradition that if a bill sponsor wants to amend his own bill that’s allowed.

In an interview with me today on WDAY AM970 Kasper called the committee work on the bill a “hurry up” proceeding “not giving us much time to get the amendment done,” he said. He said that the opposition to amending the bill came from Nathe.

“The chairman was against adding the amendment.”

What this has resulted in is a “minority report” on the bill being brought to the House floor. “In a Republican-controlled legislature we have a Republican minority report,” Kasper told me.

I wrote about the proposed amendments yesterday – read them here – and Kasper told me the intent was to address concerns that the legislation takes too much power away from the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. Currently, the person holding that position is Kirsten Baesler who is an outspoken proponent of the Common Core standards.