About a month ago, we reported that a lone Democratic State Senator — Erin Oban (District 35) — had joined five Republicans on a bill proposing to move North Dakota’s seat belt law from secondary enforcement to primary. This means that law enforcement could pull you over for simply not wearing your seat belt— and fine you too. That bill is Senate Bill 2060 and was heard in the Senate Transportation Committee last Friday where it received no recommendation. Apparently the committee was split 3-3 on it.
Yesterday, that split continued. The Senate voted 23-23 on the bill after a good amount of floor debate. Lt. Governor Brent Sandford — who’s part of an administration that supports the bill — didn’t cast a tie-breaking vote. With the tie, the bill failed. But reports are now coming in that the bill will be reconsidered.
The reason for potential reconsideration is clear. The only Senator absent from yesterday’s vote was Scott Meyer (R – District 18), who also happens to be one of the bill’s sponsors. I’m not sure the reason for his absence, but those voting erupted in giggles when the vote tally appeared on the board above Meyer’s absent name.
So, it appears there will be a re-do. Unless someone changes their vote, the bill is likely to pass and head over to the House side where we have to hope that it will be killed.