ND lawmakers to hear bill on removing ampersands from special license plates

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FARGO, N.D. - (Valley News Live) This is the first week the North Dakota legislature convenes in Bismarck.

One house bill starting to make it rounds is a proposal made by the North Dakota Department of Transportation.

In HB 1094, DOT is requesting lawmakers to eliminate ampersands as an option for special license plates.

“Nobody is using it. It hasn’t been used in years,” Rep. Terry B Jones, R-District 4, said. “And so, they’re trying to remove it out from the options since it’s not being used anyway.”

Rep. Jones, who serves on the House Transportation Committee, said this is the first step in a lengthy process.

“We’ve got to have the hearing. We need to spend some time deliberating it,” Jones said.

The committee’s chairman, Rep. Dan Ruby, said members deal with at least one license plate issue every session.

“I’m going to listen to it, and I guess, I’ll decide if I agree to remove it or if it just doesn’t make any sense,” Rep. Ruby, R-District 38, said.

Chairman Ruby said lawmakers often get requests to add symbols for special license plates, such as military ones, yet rarely do they get asked to take some off.

Ruby did express concern, however, about the people who currently have special plates with the ampersand.

“There was just a new issuance of plates,” Ruby said.

Rep. Tom Kading, R-District 45, said he’s looking forward to discussing the bill Thursday.

“I don’t know if there are some strong opinions on this issue,” Rep. Kading said. “But, people are certainly welcomed and encouraged to let the different officials know there are strong opinions."

The House Transportation Committee is expected to hear the bill Thursday at 9 a.m. at the capitol in Bismarck.