The North Dakota United staff have answered some common questions for public employees and educators regarding the 2021 North Dakota Legislative Session.
We are adding new questions and answers as they arise, so please check back for current information. If you question is not answered here, please ask it at firstname.lastname@example.org.
basics About the Nd legislative session:
The North Dakota Legislative Assembly consists of two chambers, the ND House of Representatives, with 94 representatives, and the ND Senate, with 47 senators. The state is divided into 47 constituent districts, with two representatives and one senator elected from each district. Members of both houses are elected to four-year terms, without term limits.
The ND Legislature is biennial, with the House and Senate convening for only 80 days in odd-numbered years, usually January-May.
North Dakota boasts the only state legislature in the nation that requires all bills to be heard, debated, and voted upon both in committee and chamber.
The general Legislative Calendar is HERE, but please keep in mind it is best used during session to track legislative days and recesses, but not legislative committee meetings. Please continue reading for specific information regarding committee hearings.
how do i track bills?
The Legislative Bill Tracking System is an online web application for tracking bills through the legislative process. There is no user fee for this application. The application is available for Internet users and state agency users. The tracking of legislative bills and resolutions begins when prefiled bills become available on the website and will become fully functional as bills are introduced on the first day of regular session.
about committee hearings:
Where can I watch committee hearings and floor sessions?
Live video streams of individual committee hearings and floor sessions can be viewed at: https://video.legis.nd.gov/.
Where can I find the committee hearing schedules?
Legislative Council has indicated that the following week’s committee schedule will be available every Thursday in the late afternoon/early evening. Click to access the latest Committee Hearing Schedule.
how do i testify?
The basics of testifying during the 2021 ND legislative session are outlined in:
If you wish to submit either written or oral testimony, you will need to locate the bill on the Committee Hearing Schedule and click “Submit Testimony” on the right hand side. This page will give you the deadline for submitting testimony (typically one hour before the start of the hearing) as well as directions on how to submit your testimony. If you would like to give oral testimony, you must also submit the written version. The committee chairs can choose to set a limit on the amount of oral testimony any bill can receive, so make sure to reserve your spot in the queue as soon as possible after the schedules are released on Thursdays. Legislative Council staff have put together a great video to walk you through the process: https://www.legis.nd.gov/written-and-oral-testimony-submission. Legislative Council has also created a How to Testify brochure..
what is crossover?
Crossover is essentially the half-way point in the session, where all bills must be heard, debated, and voted upon in the chamber they originated in. This session, crossover is scheduled to occur on Friday, February 26th. However, this date can change depending upon how quickly the legislature works. Typically, the legislature takes a short two-day recess after crossover.