Honor in Office

PROPOSED TEXT FOR NORTH DAKOTA STATE MEASURE:

SECTION 1. A new section is added to chapter 54-03 of the North Dakota Century Code and is created and enacted as follows:

Read the bills and allow citizens to read them too - before the vote.
1. No vote in favor of the passage of a bill shall count unless the legislator certifies, in writing before the vote, under penalty of perjury, that he or she has personally fully read the entire contents of the bill, and has taken steps to understand it and its ramifications to the best of his or her ability.

2. No vote which will pass or defeat a bill shall occur until fourteen days after the entirety of the final version of the bill has been posted on the Internet for citizen review. Any alterations or amendments to the bill require a reposting and restart of the review period. This requirement shall not apply to emergencies involving state security or natural catastrophe.

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QUESTIONS:
Would you get on a plane where the pilot couldn't read the instruments?
Would you hire a chef who doesn't know how to cook, a chauffer who can't drive or an accountant who refused to look at numbers?

Of course not.

If legislators don't know precisely what is in a bill, how can common sense come into play and how can there be intelligent informed debate? How can they be certain all of the I's have been dotted or that this is the best, most practical bill?

Legislators should be required to read the bill. It is the very essence of their jobs.

This initiatve did not get on the ballot, but it is here to serve as an example of how simple the law is that we want to get passed.

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