Guest columnist: Mandan Catholic Daughters provides legislative visit for members
By Mary Ann Eckroth, Mandan Catholic Daughters member
In Catholic Daughters, one of our programs is the Circle of Love. Two components are legislation and education. It was in this spirit of providing educational opportunities for our members into the North Dakota State Legislative process that Court St Cecelia No. 362 of Mandan, under the leadership, Theresa Tokach and Mary Mann, that 16 of us visited the North Dakota State Capital for a day on March 12, during the legislative season.
We were fortunate to be able to sit in on a hearing for House Bill No. 1319 regarding taxation and education plus hear various testimonies.
In addition, the following were able to join us for lunch along with question and answer time: local Representatives Jim Schmidt, Karen Rohr, Todd Porter and Nathan Toman; and Senators Dwight Cook and Don Schaible; State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt; Superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction Kristen Baesler; State Senator Margaret Sittee, National Legislative Chair for CDA; and Monique Kraemer, the State Legislative chair for ND CDA. We were introduced to Dan Ulmer, a lobbyist, who explained the role of a lobbyist.
At 1 p.m. we attended the opening session of the House of Representative. Several of our members were able to sit on the floor with representatives and view the process close up.
We were able to tour the North Dakota Supreme Court as the courtroom was not in session.
Before we left the capital that afternoon, we met with Governor Jack Dalrymple and he posed with us for a picture.
It was a beautiful day, weather-wise, as well as a great day for the 16 of us who were able to be a part of the “history of North Dakota” that day.