ND House votes against women in leadership bill

BISMARCK, ND (KFYR) – A bill that would have given women more opportunities in the Legislature failed in the State House today.

HB 1311 required the House Majority Leader to select at least two women as committee chairs. The lawmaker who introduced the bill, Rep. Vicki Steiner of Dickinson, says the disparity between men’s and women’s seats in the House is stark.

“I know women are going to vote against it, and some women are thinking, ‘If I just play ball, they’re going to put me in the chair eventually.’ My experience is that you can play ball, you can’t play ball, but you’re definitely going to sit on the bench,” said Rep. Steiner, R-Dickinson. There hasn’t been a woman Speaker of the House since 2013, and only in the past 20 years. two women served on the Office of Legislation, the Legislature’s oversight body.The bill failed by a vote of 10-83.Seven women voted in favor of it.

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