Port: Bill would require female leadership of some standing committees in North Dakota’s House


MINOT, N.D. — Back in December, as North Dakota’s lawmakers wrapped up their organizational session, and as committee assignments were doled out by legislative leaders, I reported that it had been a decade since a woman was appointed to chair one of the standing committees in the state’s House of Representatives.

The Senate, by contrast, has routinely seen female leadership on committees during that interval, but not the House.

“I wasn’t aware of that,” House Majority Leader Mike Lefor, who is in charge of committee assignments, told me when I asked him about the disparity. “I should have been.”

After that story was published, Rep. Vicki Steiner, a Republican who represents the same Dickinson-area district Lefor does, called me. “Can you read my mind or something?” she asked. “Did you get a tip?”

She asked because even before I wrote that piece, she had legislation in the works to address this disparity.

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