North Dakota initiative requires lawmakers read bills before voting

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February 10, 2010

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BISMARK, North Dakota: Jerrol LeBaron of California is proposing a new initiative for the 2010 ballot that would require that state lawmakers swear they have read and understood legislative bills before voting. However, before the initiative can be approved for circulation, LeBaron must first acquire 25 sponsors in the state.[1] LeBaron says his measure is a "wonderful opportunity...for the legislators to brag about the fact that it is the most transparent, most accountable, and most responsible state in the nation." However, some lawmakers disagree. Rep. Al Carlson called the measure unnecessary and argues that the state of North Dakota is already "a very open, transparent system of government." In addition to reading the bills, lawmakers would be required to swear to not being influenced by bribes or "vote trading."[2]

If approved for circulation, supporters must collect and submit a minimum of 25,688 valid signatures by August 4, 2010 in order to move the proposed measure to the 2010 ballot.

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