Lawmakers react to their law banning ND from California state travels

North Dakota lawmakers
North Dakota lawmakers(KFYR)
Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 4:31 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - California has branded North Dakota, and more than a dozen other states, with a “no-travel” designation.

Not because of a virus, but because of policy.

California has banned any non-essential state travel to states with discriminatory laws against the LGBTQ+ community.

California has had this list of no-travel states for years, but just recently added North Dakota after it passed parts of the Transgender Sports Bill from the last legislative session.

Where some see this move as a disconnect in motivations, others see it as North Dakota laying in the bed it made.

According to the California Attorney General’s office, North Dakota was added after passing HB 1503, about which California said it “limits the ability of universities and colleges to sanction or discipline student-on-student harassment.”

But some lawmakers aren’t acknowledging the backlash.

“All these threats. They’re threatening governors, threatening states, we’re not going to come, we’re not going to have tourism. It’s just fake. Honest to God, it’s just fake and has never materialized,” said Sen. Janne Myrdal, R-Edinburg.

When it was first being debated, some lawmakers were worried the bill would put North Dakota in a bad light, and they offered warnings about these reactions.

“I don’t think we’ve seen the tip of the repercussions yet. It’s just too early. I really don’t know what it’s going to do. All I know is I voted against it because it was very prejudicial,” said Rep. Greg Westlind, R-Cando.

North Dakota also passed a bill limiting participation for transgender student athletes.

The bill was partially vetoed, but that wasn’t enough to be taken off of California’s “do not travel to” list.

This decision isn’t just a political reaction from the state.

California law restricts state travel to places with laws like these in the books.

North Dakota will be officially added to the list on August 1st.

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