Enjoy the weekend, see you next week: That's the verdict rendered by Republican leadership to the Legislature Thursday, adding there will be a hard push to cross the finish line on the 2017 session on Tuesday.
“No later than Tuesday. That’s the latest, so we’re going to have to shake and bake,” Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner, R-Dickinson, told the full Senate this afternoon.
End of day Wednesday saw 38 bills still requiring action, according to North Dakota Legislative Council.
Leadership had been weighing Thursday morning whether it would be possible to finish the remaining bills and work into late Saturday to adjourn sine die.
Wardner said the plan now is to work until 5 p.m. Friday and be ready to hit the ground running on Monday.
Today is Day 72 of the session; sessions are limited to 80 days constitutionally.
If lawmakers can finish on Day 75 on Tuesday, it would mark the shortest session since they completed their work in 71 days in 1999.
House Majority Leader Al Carlson, R-Fargo, said lawmakers are still working on four major budgets, including human services, department of trust lands, higher education and the Public Employees Retirement System.
Carlson said legislative council needs time to finish paperwork on bills over the weekend so that logistically everything is in place to move on Monday and Tuesday.
Leadership of both parties has been aiming to adjourn with several days remaining so lawmakers could return during the interim for a special session if needed to respond to potential changes to federal health care law or to address further budget shortfalls.