North Dakota Legislature: What to watch

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 24, 2013 at 9:01 am •  Published: February 24, 2013
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Cook said the proposed legislation could change significantly in the House. But he said North Dakota will have a new oil tax structure after this session.

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GUNS DURING DECLARED EMERGENCIES

Rep. Karen Karls, R-Bismarck, says Monday will be "gun day" in the North Dakota House.

One gun measure expected to come up Monday is her measure that would allow people to possess a gun in public during a declared state of emergency. And it would allow residents to sue if the government tries to confiscate their guns or ammunition during a declared emergency.

Several states have enacted such laws after New Orleans police confiscated guns while trying to restore order following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The North Dakota measure also would allow the sale of firearms and ammunition during a declared emergency.

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OIL TAX TRUST FUND:

North Dakota's oil tax "Legacy Fund" now has about $850 million in assets and it's growing rapidly with increased oil production.

North Dakota voters approved the fund in 2010.

It gets 30 percent of the state's oil tax collections. None of the money can be spent until 2017, and even then it takes a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to get into it.

North Dakota Treasurer Kelly Schmidt says $57.8 million was deposited into the fund this month. It's been collecting oil tax revenue since September 2011.

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LEGISLATIVE OBSERVATIONS OF A 9-YEAR-OLD

Nine-year-old Joel Bowman of Jamestown traveled to the Capitol on Friday with his mother, Suzanne, and older brothers Luke and Levi for a civics lesson.

Joel said he would have worn his tie during the Senate floor session but one of his brothers stole it from him.

So what did the fourth-grader learn?

"They talk a lot," he said.

And how long did he listen?

"Long enough," he said.

All was not lost, he said: "Some senator gave me some Skittles."

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Follow James MacPherson on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/macphersonja