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Rep. Koppelman named Judiciary Committee Chairman

Rep. Kim Koppelman of West Fargo has been appointed Chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the North Dakota House of Representatives.

The Committee has a heavy workload of important legislation dealing with criminal and civil justice matters and with the state's legal and court system.

First elected to represent West Fargo's District 13 in 1994, Koppelman has served on the Judiciary Committee for most of his tenure in the Legislature, including prior service as its Vice Chairman. His only absence from the committee was during the four years he was appointed to the Appropriations Committee.

"It is humbling to be entrusted with such a great responsibility," Koppelman said, noting that the Judiciary Committee's work is unique in that it deals with most matters involving another entire branch of state government.

"North Dakota is one of the safest states in the nation. We've worked hard to accomplish that, but there is work left to do, to ensure that our laws protect the people of our state. We also have a fine judicial system and must work to ensure its continued excellence and the public's access to it," he added.

Since 2005, Koppelman has chaired the Constitutional Revision Committee, while also serving on the Judiciary and Political Subdivisions Committees.

The Constitutional Revision Committee has been merged into the Judiciary Committee, so he will continue to preside over measures introduced to amend the North Dakota Constitution. He will also continue to serve on the Political Subdivisions Committee.

Koppelman has introduced many pieces of criminal and civil justice legislation, including tougher laws on violent sex offenders, human trafficking, and identity theft.

He sponsored landmark legislation in 1995, asserting the Legislature's Constitutional authority over government regulations. Since that time, he has also served on the Administrative Rules Committee and currently chairs that panel, as it oversees new regulations being implemented.

He also continues to serve on the Judicial Planning Committee, as an appointee of the North Dakota Supreme Court; is a member of the Civil Justice Task Force of the American Legislative Exchange Council and the Board of "R Street"; served as the National Chairman of the Council of State Governments (CSG) and serves on its Governing Board and Executive Committee; co-founded and co-chaired The Interbranch Working Group and convened the National Interbranch Summit of the States in North Dakota in 2008; and previously served on the Executive Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).