BISMARCK –A concurrent resolution that proposes changes to the North Dakota term limits initiated measure that passed with more than 63% of the vote in the November 2022 general election was the subject of a hearing Wednesday. HCR 3019 was one of the topics during a meeting of the House Industry, Labor, and Business Committee.
Jared Hendrix, Fargo, spoke in opposition to the resolution, telling committee members that the resolution, “flagrantly undermines the wishes of voters” and that “whether or not you supported the terms limits measure has no bearing on the merits of this resolution.”
Committee Chairman Scott Louser, R-Dis. 5, Minot, asked Hendrix if he was “suggesting this hearing today and the introduction of this bill are unconstitutional?”
“I don’t know that discussing it is unconstitutional, but I do believe the proposal itself is unconstitutional,” replied Hendrix.
Rep. Dan Ruby, R-Dis, 38, Minot and a committee member, also questioned Hendrix.
“If district voters strongly supported term limits, then why did they support their current legislator who has served longer than those term limits,” asked Ruby.
“They vote for the candidates, the options that they have,” said Hendrix. “The absence of other choices does not mean they don’t want other choices, it just means they are making a decision from available options.”
The term limits measure approved by voters limits legislators to eight years of service in either the House or the Senate but allows a legislator to move from one body to the other and serve an additional eight years. In addition, the governor would be limited to two four-year terms.
No action was immediately taken on the resolution.