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Last week’s work in the House Human Services and Government and Veterans Affairs committees included the following (the first four bills were heard by Human Services, the others by Veterans Affairs):

Senate Bill 2225 would change the system used by nursing homes to collect overdue bills. Current law allows for family members of the nursing home resident to be sued in order to collect overdue bills. The committee heard testimony from many family members who were forced to pay large bills after their loved one passed away. The committee gave this bill a do pass recommendation with a 14-0 vote.

Senate Bill 2210 would allow medical marijuana facilities operating in North Dakota to increase the amount of marijuana plants they grow. Current law allows for 1,000 plants to be grown at a facility. Pure Dakota LLC, which operates the medical marijuana manufacturing facility in Bismarck, testified that they would like the flexibility to exceed that number in order to meet the needs of patients. The committee voted a do pass recommendation, 11-3-1.

Senate Bill 2113 would allow residents of nursing homes to place a camera inside their residence in order for family members to check on them and monitor concerns they may have. The bill received support from the North Dakota Long Term Care Association and other stakeholders. Concerns about the bill were voiced regarding HIPAA and privacy for the resident’s roommate. The bill was amended to address HIPAA concerns and was passed out of committee, 8-6.

Senate Concurrent Resolution 4007 urges Congress and the Food and Drug Administration to end e-cigarette marketing to youth. Testimony indicated that these products are addictive to youth and are not subject to the same marketing restrictions as traditional tobacco products. Juul Labs, one of the main e-cigarette makers, testified in support of the resolution and stated it is working hard to ensure that its products are not marketed to minors. The resolution received a do pass recommendation, 11-1-2.

Senate Bill 2110: On average the state defends against 5.7 million cyberattacks per month. This law ensures cybersecurity best practices across the state information technology network. The bill was amended to define cybersecurity strategy and was then given a do pass recommendation, 11-0-2.

Senate Bill 2256 increases the number of words that describe a constitutional measure on the ballot from 250 to 500 words. The committee voted 9-2-3 do pass recommendation.

Senate Bill 2221 clarifies that communication records possessed by members of the legislative assembly are exempt from open record between the legislator and the public agency or public employee. The bill was amended back to its original format and given a do pass recommendation, 11-1-2.

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Rep. Karen Rohr, R-Mandan, is acting chair of the House Human Services Committee and serves on the Government and Veterans Affairs Committee. She can be contacted at kmrohr@nd.gov or by leaving a message at 888-635-3447.

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