“The Dollar Doug idea sure got stomped in the House,” a legislative observer texted me yesterday evening.
The “Dollar Doug” thing is what some are calling the amendment to HB1001 which would reduce Governor Doug Burgum’s salary to just $1 per year, formulated in such a way so that whoever might take over after Burgum (be it at the end of his term or through some other circumstance) reverts to the old salary.
It did, indeed, get stomped on in the House with members voting 11-79 to reject the bill as it emerged from conference committee.
Rep. Jeff Delzer (R-Underwood) said the governorship is the “most coveted position in the State of North Dakota” and that lawmakers shouldn’t say it’s “only worth a dollar.” He called the attempt to reduce the salary “wrong.”
“We should give him the salary and what he does with it is his business,” Delzer continued.
Rep. Lawrence Klemin (R-Bismarck) said reducing Burgum’s salary sets a “very bad precedent” which might say that “only wealthy people can hold office.”
“The next guy says not only will I not accept a salary I’ll pay rent to live in the governor’s residence,” Klemin argued.
Rep. Bill Devlin (R-Finley) called the amendment “fundamentally wrong” and said that “we can all provide a long list of charities” to Burgum to which he could donate his salary.
You could hear laughter from the floor as the conference committee vote failed.
Here’s the video: