Voters must quash legislator’s bad decisions
Just as the 2020 election cycle seems it can’t get any worse, the North Dakota Legislature voted earlier this year to send two constitutional proposals to voters for their approval. Both proposals are bad for North Dakotans.
The fist proposal is Measure 1, which would expand the number of seats on the State Board of Higher Education from 8 to 15 and extends their term from four years to six years. It would also prohibit state employees and legislatures from serving on the board. Supporters of the measure say that it will help make the board work more efficiently and cut costs.
The problem with this proposal is that it does nothing to improve on just those things, improving efficiency or cutting costs. Higher education is already expensive for many people, and spending precious dollars on salaries for unelected bureaucrats, who do not do much, instead of helping students is a bad idea.
Next up is Measure 2, which adds an extra step in approving constitutional amendments. Currently, it takes 27,000 signatures for a constitutional proposal to appear on the ballot, and if voters agree, then it becomes law.
What this measure seeks to do is have the legislature vote on the measure that was already passed by voters. If it passes, then it becomes law. If it fails, then the measure is sent back to voters, and if the people agree, then it becomes law.
Passing Measure 2 will lengthen the time that a ballot measure takes to become law by having it spend time in the legislature. Additionally, it would cost twice as much money to get the ballot measure approved or rejected. It basically acts as a power grab by the state legislature.
If either or both Measures 1 and 2 are passed, their consequences will be felt for many years to come and it would be difficult to reverse their harmful impact. I encourage those who are planning to cast their ballots to vote against Measures 1 and 2 to send a strong message to the legislature that they work for us, not the other way around.