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To ease frustration, time to consider change of legislators

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opinion Fargo, 58102
West Fargo Pioneer
(701) 241-5487 customer support
Fargo North Dakota 101 5th Street North 58102

I am proud to call North Dakota my home. I am not proud of the politics that the Republican supermajority played during this past Legislative session. Many have asked which came first -- the GOP running out of rights to take away or running out of legislative days. It's interesting that the majority leaders call the session a success, while they left so many North Dakotans behind.

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Let's talk specifics. The Republican-lead supermajority passed a voter ID law that legalizes voter suppression while voting down legislation that would have created more transparent ethics laws and an oversight commission in North Dakota. This new voter ID law makes it harder for senior citizens, active military, and college students to vote, and that is the bottom line. Republicans will try to make claims about protecting the sanctity of voting in North Dakota, but as our own Attorney General states, it's an almost non-existent problem. Maybe someone out there can explain to me how making it harder for citizens to vote is a great idea, while ensuring that those involved in enacting public policy are held to the highest standards is a waste of time. My opinion -- it doesn't make sense.

How about the House Republican majority defeating a bill that would have provided milk or juice to elementary kids who could not otherwise afford milk or juice during their midday school break. hey tried to explain this away using every possible spin and talking point they could pull out of their little playbooks -- it's the federal government's responsibility, it's not up to the legislature to provide an extra carton of milk to these kids, and the list goes on. When they realized this wasn't something they could just explain away, they tried to pull a fast one on all of us. The Republican "fix" was to rob Peter to pay Paul, by using much needed funds from resources for at-risk youth and reallocating them to be used for midday school breaks. The majority party would like to claim they did something for the kids of North Dakota, but the truth is, they have done nothing but play politics with the children of our state.

In a continuation of their display of intolerance and prejudice, Senate Republicans voted to continue to allow discrimination based on sexual orientation. When asked to do the right thing and protect citizens from being evicted from their home or fired from their job because of who they are or whom they call family, the GOP said no. I don't know about you, but legalized bigotry doesn't represent the North Dakota I know and love.

Our citizens' lives are more important than politics, and it's time to restore humanity and civility to our state. North Dakota is full to the brim with potential, hard workers, innovators, and doers, and it's time that we have a legislature to match. To those of you that feel frustrated by the lack of leadership and ignorant policy-making in Bismarck, it's time to change your legislators, not your address.

Joshua A. Boschee

ND House of Representatives,

District 44 (north Fargo)

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