The North Dakota Senate rejected a paid family leave study aimed at working families. Meanwhile, those same lawmakers continue to consider studying how they can receive free lunches in addition to other personal benefits paid by tax dollars. How many more examples are necessary to show that many NoDak Republican lawmakers care more about their own entitlements than working families?

In essence, paid family leave is a benefit these same lawmakers reserve for themselves. If a legislator misses work, they are excused from their absence by their colleagues nearly every single time. Those absences include taking leave to care for family. Lawmakers still receive their pay even while they were not at work. It is paid by our taxes.

This bill, HB 1441, was not a mandate to force paid family leave. It was a simple study to find the facts as to whether or not a voluntary program would work in the state. Still, these lawmakers rejected the study. It is clear these Republicans don’t even want to know the facts. They don’t care if that program would benefit and attract needed workers to North Dakota. It is a damn shame.

Speaking of shame, after public outrage that lawmakers wanted free meals paid for by taxpayers they turned that terrible idea into a study. HB 1424 would have the legislature study how they can receive free lunches and other benefits paid for by tax dollars. They have yet to reject spending our tax dollars to study how they can personally pocket even more of our tax dollars regularly. The free lunch for lawmakers study was the one that warranted defeat.

There is little denying the level of arrogance in the makeup of this particular legislative body. Their entitled attitude hasn’t been matched in recent years. Instead of rolling up their sleeves and diving into a study that may benefit hard-working residents, they slammed the door shut. They already have their paid leave. It is maddening they don’t care to learn how their benefit may help families across the state.

Here are the NoDak Senators who voted against learning more about paid family leave:

No votes: Senators Bell; Burckhard; Clemens; Dever; Fors; Hogue; Holmberg; Kannianen; Klein; Krebsbach; Kreun; Larsen, D.; Larsen, O.; Lemm; Meyer; Myrdal; Patten; Roers, J.; Rust; Schaible; Sorvaag; Vedaa; Wanzek; Wardner; Wobbema

Tyler Axness
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