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2 West Fargo lawmakers bring most bills in 2021 Legislature
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2 West Fargo lawmakers bring most bills in 2021 Legislature

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Sen. Judy Lee, R-West Fargo, is chair of the Senate Human Services Committee. Lee proposed 20 bills during the 2021 Legislature, the most of any lawmaker. 

A state senator and a representative both from West Fargo are each the most prolific for bills in their respective chamber of the Legislature.

Sen. Judy Lee, R-West Fargo, proposed 20 bills. Rep. Ben Koppelman, R-West Fargo, introduced 17 bills.

Lee, who chairs the Senate Human Services Committee, said she strives to be supportive of human services issues and constituents' concerns. Most of her bills relate to human services topics.

"I can't say I'm not going to do it if I think it's something that has value to a certain number of people," said Lee, who has presented bills to her own committee.

Days can be long; she started Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. and planned to shut down her computer about 9:30 p.m.

Koppelman, who sits on the House Finance and Taxation Committee and the House Government and Veterans Affairs Committee, said "many complex issues" have come forward in the 2021 Legislature, many of which he said he studied during the 2019-20 interim.

He said his legislation has categories rather than a consistent theme. He's proposed gun legislation, bills related to pandemic concerns such as vaccinations and using cash for purchases, and a few bills reintroduced from 2019. 

"It's just a mixed bag," he said.

Koppelman starts his day around 6 a.m. at the Capitol, and he leaves by 6 p.m.

"I think that's what's important when you're a legislator, that you dig in on tough issues," he said. "I believe in becoming as educated as possible on the issues that I introduce, and in order to do both of those things it takes a lot of time."

The deadlines have passed for senators and representatives to introduce bills. The House had 530 bills and resolutions introduced. The Senate had 356 bills and resolutions brought forth. The total of 886 is short of the 984 brought in the 2019 Legislature.

Reach Jack Dura at 701-223-8482 or jack.dura@bismarcktribune.com.

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