The North Dakota Legislative Review
The North Dakota Legislative Review is a comprehensive look at how state legislators voted during the 2011 legislative session. This analysis includes appropriations bills and bills that incorporated ideas put forth in Moving Forward, our policy guide, to give citizens a look at how their legislators voted on the issues most important to the North Dakota Policy Council.
The NDPC tracked twenty-four bills during the legislative session that ranged from nullifying the new federal health care law to tax increment financing (TIF) reform. There were also dozens of appropriations bills that were debated in each chamber, totaling more than $10 billion in spending. Those bills varied in size from $2.2 billion to as little as $4,000.
While supporters of free markets in North Dakota should be happy about the good things the legislature did to defend economic freedom in North Dakota, the legislative session – in its entirety – was rather disappointing.
The good things the legislature did, such as reforming TIF and protecting North Dakotans against Obamacare, were far overshadowed by the dramatic increase in the size and scope of state government and the opportunities that were not seized upon, such as public pension reform and the elimination of income taxes.
Fiscal conservatives have their work cut out for them. While the mood of the country seems to be headed towards austerity, the growth in state government in North Dakota has exploded over the past several bienniums and there appears to have no end in sight.
The following is the percentage ranking for each chamber and for the policy and spending issues:
Note: The rankings are based on compiled voting records only. Particular votes aren't necessarily a gauge of which legislators support NDPC positions and do not take motivations into account.
The following is the raw data used in the report:
The following is a list of the policy bills tracked during the legislative session.