MINOT, N.D. — Indulgence, I think, is the word for these times in North Dakota politics.
In Bismarck, this winter and spring, we watched many of our state lawmakers indulge their authoritarian impulses and personal biases. We had dozens of bills — some of which became law — targeting trans kids, librarians, and educators.
This legislation accomplishes very little for the average North Dakota voter who wants efficient, competent government services and reliable infrastructure paid for by reasonable taxation. Yet our lawmakers spent an inordinate amount of time on these bills, leaving important issues such as child care and tax reform to be rushed through in the closing hours of the session.
Our lawmakers haven’t been shy about indulging their pecuniary interests, either. Back in 2019, Forum News Service reporter John Hageman discovered that some state lawmakers were also landlords for state government through a process that didn’t include competitive bidding. Also, it may not surprise you to learn that these property deals weren’t included in the financial disclosures made by lawmakers.