Published April 2, 2023

Madame Secretary

Written by
Lydia Hoverson
| The Dakotan
Shanda Morgan, Bismarck, secretary of the North Dakota State Senate. (Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan)
Shanda Morgan, Bismarck, secretary of the North Dakota State Senate. (Photo: Lydia Hoverson/The Dakotan)

Reading the Bills for Six Years

BISMARCK – Legislative bills go through a rigorous process to become law, and part of that process is that every bill’s potential location in Century Code must be read audibly to both chambers of the state. The person who reads this must do so quickly to keep the bills moving through in a timely manner.

Shanda Morgan, secretary of the Senate, said she wears a lot of hats with her job. Of course, the part that most people would probably recognize is the fact that she reads what every single bill relates to and where it would amend the North Dakota Century Code.

“I work with the Lieutenant Governor,” said Morgan. “We keep track of where all the bills are. I work with the Senate Majority Leader, the Assistant Senate Majority Leader, and make sure we

know where bills are at all times so that we keep track of where everything is.”

Morgan said she is technically the head of all the Senate employees, including committee clerks, pages, and employees on the floor, including the sergeant at arms.

Morgan is originally from McKenzie, having gone to Century High School in Bismarck and the University of Wyoming for Agriculture Business, Applied Economics, and Communications. She is a boutique owner and realtor in Bismarck.

Since she must read the Century Code numbers and dashes quickly, Morgan answered how she accomplished her quick reading skills.

“I’ve done speeches,” Morgan laughed. “I was Miss Rodeo North Dakota, so I’ve traveled all over giving speeches and talking.”

Morgan has been the Senate secretary for three sessions, equaling six years, and was the journal reporter for two sessions prior.

“Back in college I was an assistant committee clerk,” Morgan explained. “It’s a lot of fun and an interesting perspective being on this side. It’s kind of a big family in the Senate. It’s smaller, you get to know everyone. I really enjoy the process. You learn a lot about the whole bill process.”

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