• Brass-Tacks
  • Spring Report on Business Launch with the Missing Column

    Spring Report on Business Launch with the Missing Column

    The Spring Report on Business will soon be in mailboxes. The issues covers cybersecurity and showcases the perspective of Eide Bailly, MDU Resources Group, and Essentia Health with a showcase from ND University Systems.
    As usual, we launch this issue with GNDC Vice President of Operation & Outreach, Amanda Remynse's quarterly column:

    Missing Column from GNDC’s Spring Report on Business: Feelings and the Legislative Process
    I have three children – ages 6, 5, and 4. “I’m not going to be your friend anymore” is a phrase that makes my eyes roll back into my head. I used to interject myself into the conversation and say, “that’s not how we make relationships” or “we don’t say things like that” but alas I had no impact, the threat continued to emerge into weekly scuttles. But through my feeble attempts to rectify the conversation I have noticed something – my kids are all talk. No one has even stayed “not friends” for long.
    See, this veiled threat, in an attempt to coerce the action path that they want, has mixed results. Sometimes the threat works, altering their sibling’s behavior and other times the inflicted sibling couldn’t care less about the status of their friendship with the instigator. I’ve begun to look at this social experiment and dissect what motivates the threat and when the outcome changes. I’ve learned absolutely nothing. Zip. There is no consistency in action or inaction. BUT, there is one thing that is stable – my children’s relationships.
    Do they get mad at each other, yes. Do they hold it against each other and opt-out of the friendship, no. Eventually something gives, and the world becomes righted and they carry on kumbaya. It’s ironically the most innocent application to legislative relationships I’ve seen.
    All legislators do not get along all the time. All lobbyists do not get along all the time. All lobbyist and legislators do not get along all the time. Each person walking the capitol halls during session have passion points and agendas to impact their world. Sometimes these perspectives align, and cohorts are created to further the cause. However, other topics can come into play and opposing thoughts create separate camps. Yet, it’s not permanent. Factions are not forever. Each person has their motivation, but rarely do they hold it against another and cut off all collaboration and communication.
    GNDC actively engages with other lobbyists and legislators alike. Sometimes the same organization that we were against on one bill is one that we stand with together on another bill. Legislators are the same way, don’t believe me – watch the voting boards or watch the co-sponsor lists. Each legislator understands that policy is part of the process and the matter of debate – not the person. House Majority Leader Mike Lefor even comments to this recently - specific to the legislative process, “If you have hurt feelings, you need to be able to get over it fast.” Everything is fluid because each day, each bill, and each policy can be different – just like each district and the people that live there.
    At the end of the day, my children may not all be on the same page, but I know that that’s shifting ground. They each have a will and a motive, but they are learning to be adults where they will build relationships to get work done for their greater good.