North Dakota Read Bills Before Vote Initiative (2012)

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 13:22, 23 March 2010 by Bailey Ludlam (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
North Dakota Read Bills Before Vote Initiative may appear on the November 2, 2010 ballot in North Dakota as an initiated state statute.[1] The proposed measure would require that state lawmakers swear they have read and understood legislative bills before voting. Additionally, lawmakers would have to swear to not being influenced by bribes or "vote trading."[2][3] Lawmakers would not have to swear to reading the bill if the oppose it. Additionally, the requirement does not apply to legislative committees. However, bills and resolutions would have to be posted on the internet for at least four days before a vote.[4]


The measure is proposed by Jerrol LeBaron of California. In order to be eligible for the ballot, LeBaron was required to first acquire 25 sponsors in the state.[2] David Wolfer, a retired Bismark businessman and chairman of the campaign, said,"The primary function of a legislator is to know the laws he's going to pass...I'm motivated to see that that job gets done properly."[5]


Sen. Bob Stenehjem argues that there is no need for the initiative and that lawmakers are aware of the details of the bills they are signing. "Show me what problem we have in North Dakota. We don't have a problem. What he ought to do is go to a state where they have a problem," said Stenehjem.[5] According to the North Dakota Constitution, lawmakers have to finish their session in 80 days. The deadline, said Stenehjem, will be harder to meet should the initiative be approved.[6]

Media editorial positions

Editorial boards opposed

  • The Forum is opposed to the proposed "Read Bills Before Vote Initiative." In an editorial, the board said,"It’s a foolish and unworkable notion. It’s unnecessary because North Dakota’s system requires that every bill be heard in open committee. Every bill, no matter the committee recommendation, must be reported to the floor of one chamber or the other or both for further debate. No bill can be scuttled by a committee chairman or heard behind closed doors...The proposed measure is seriously flawed. The folks who have signed on to this stupidity haven’t done their homework."[7]

Path to the ballot

See also: North Dakota signature requirements

After being approved for circulation, supporters must collect and submit a minimum of 12,844 valid signatures by August 4, 2010 in order to move the proposed measure to the 2010 ballot. The measure was officially filed with the North Dakota Secretary of State on March 9, 2010.[5]

See also

Related measures

Proposed ballot measures that were not on a ballot California Honor in Office Act (2010)


Additional reading