ND House Sustains Governor’s Veto of Driver’s License Fee Increases

Rep. Dan Johnston (R - District 24) urges the House to sustain Governor Doug Burgum's veto on SB 2244. This bill would have doubled driver's license fees. The House sustained the veto by falling short of the 2/3 required on a vote of 47-44. (Photo via screenshot.)

Last Thursday, we published an article discussing the fact that the North Dakota Senate had taken the first step of overriding Governor Doug Burgum’s veto of Senate Bill 2244 by a vote of 41-4. The bill proposed doubling commercial and noncommercial driver’s licenses from $15 to $30.

As the bill was set to be heard for consideration of an override today, it was expected by many that the chances were pretty good that it would happen. After all, when SB 2244 first passed the House, it did so on a vote of 65-25. But it didn’t pan out that way— at all. By the time the votes were tallied, it actually wasn’t even close to the 2/3 needed to make it law. The House defeated it by a vote of 47-44— an 18 vote difference from the last time they considered it.

I suppose there’s a number of reasons that the vote panned out the way that it did, but I think there’s three very important ones that are possibilities. First, I think we’d be naïve to believe that it wasn’t on the minds of a few legislators that overriding the veto may well leave some with the impression that Governor Burgum is more conservative than they are. Second, Representatives Dan Johnston (R – District 24) and Rick Becker (R – District 7) made compelling cases during floor debate today for sustaining the override. They’re absolutely worth watching. Third, there was unquestionably an effort by Rep. Johnston leading up to the vote to get some of his colleagues to change their minds on the issue.

As I’ve mentioned before, if all things were equal — meaning the State wasn’t taxing and spending too much, the driver’s license department was at peak efficiency, and we knew exactly how much these licenses cost the state — an argument for raising fees might have been more palatable. But that’s simply not the case.

The House did the right thing by rejecting the override efforts.



  1. https://theminutemanblog.com/2019/03/28/nd-senate-takes-step-to-override-veto-on-raising-drivers-license-fees/
  2. https://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/66-2019/bill-index/bi2244.html
  3. http://video.legis.nd.gov/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20190402/-1/12139?startposition=20190402133500
  4. http://video.legis.nd.gov/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20190402/-1/12139?startposition=20190402134009
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About T. Arthur Mason 883 Articles
T. Arthur Mason is a native North Dakotan who has spent nearly all of his life in the Peace Garden State. As the third of four children in Western North Dakota, Mason grew to appreciate family and the outdoors. Some of his fondest memories are annual deer hunts with family and friends. In his early teenage years, faith became a central part of T. Arthur Mason's life. He and the majority of his family attend church together on a weekly basis and find this a fulfilling aspect of their lives. Through the influence of his father, T. Arthur Mason became intrigued with politics. As a boy, he attended political events with his father and enjoyed the friendships that resulted as a byproduct of those political associations. As Mason grew older, he became convinced that the quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson was true, "That government is best which governs least." Today, T. Arthur Mason enjoys time with his wife and children, an occasional hunt, and an increasingly active life on the political scene. This blog is the fulfillment of a dream to design a web site in the realm of politics and to advocate for the principles of Liberty and constitutionally limited government. On behalf of all those that contribute to The Minuteman, we hope you enjoy your time on the site and will share the message with others.