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Legislators in North Dakota examine the effects of recently implemented term restrictions



Bismarck, North Dakota – Legislators in North Dakota are thinking about what it would mean to not have seasoned career politicians at the statehouse after term limits were passed.

The North Dakota Monitor met with several legislators, and they stated that because of the rather rapid turnover, legislators will require a succession plan. Many raised worries about the potential loss of institutional knowledge and experience. Of the legislature, half of the members elected in 2020 have just four more years to serve, and by 2030, the remaining half will be subject to the two-term limit.

“All the power goes to the lobbyists, who know the issues inside and out, and quite frankly, more power goes to the governor’s office because he has the staff and the wherewithal to tackle these issues, versus someone who’s only been in there for a session or two,” said Rep. Mike Nathe (R-Bismarck) to the North Dakota Monitor.

Other legislators stated that the demand for more general knowledge rather than specialization will increase and that people will be able to take on leadership roles far more quickly than in the past. Additionally, a few Democratic-NPL MPs claimed that the term limits bill’s passing gives them the chance to effectively run additional candidates for 2024 and beyond.

“Whether you win or don’t, it gives you the opportunity to build a name ID and there’s going to be open seats in 2028,” said Josh Boschee (D-Fargo).