Final Final Legislative Update
Last week, GNDC gave a final Legislative Session update as sine die came on April 29 - but wait, there's more.....
What happens to the bills that are sitting on the Governor’s desk? Governor Burgum now has the power to sign or veto these bills. A significant power that the governor holds, balancing the three branches of government, is veto authority. All the bills still sitting on the governor’s desk could be considered for veto but the veto rules are different now that the legislature adjourned.
During Session, the Governor has 5 legislative days to sign or veto a bill. If neither action is done, the bill automatically becomes law as it is sent to the Secretary of State's Office. This quick turnaround gives the legislature the ability to reconsider the governor’s veto with the authority to overturn with a 2/3 vote in both chambers - beginning in the bill's chamber of origin. This authority of the legislature is another check and balance built into our state's government system.
Now with the Legislature out of their chambers, the quick turnaround is no longer needed and the Governor has 15 business days to follow the same process. If there is a veto that the Legislative Branch would like to overturn, they can utilize some of their unused days to reconvene to overturn a governor’s veto action.
The governor’s veto authority has some nuance. If the bill is strictly policy-related the veto is all or nothing. The entire bill will die with a veto. If the bill contains an appropriation, the governor has line-item veto authority and may select portions of a bill to remove. With numerous bills still on his desk, including agency budgets, we may see what the Governor deems as bad policy for North Dakota. Governor Burgum has exercised the line-item veto in past legislative sessions.
GNDC is still watching for HB1015, HB 1380, and SB 2018 to be signed. These bills align heavily with our policy positions.
What's up after all these bills have been acted upon? Unless a bill has an effective date or emergency clause, policy bills will go into effect on August 1, 2021, and agency appropriations bill on July 1, 2021. Agency appropriations bills go into effect earlier to align with the state’s fiscal year.
Next up for GNDC’s Government Affairs Team is to engage with legislative management on what studies will be taken up during the interim of the legislature. The first meeting is May 19, 2021. We will be providing business-relevant updates as they occur. Stay Tuned.