WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 13, 2011, 09:45 AM

ND Legislature: Chain retailer pharmacies, college construction, and autism to be discussed this week

Bismarck, ND (Forum Communications) - North Dakota lawmakers have just two weeks to get through all the proposed bills. Teri Finneman explains what's ahead.

By: Teri Finneman, WDAY

By February 25, legislators need to decide which bills will make the cut for the second half of the session. We're at a point where nearly all of the bills have had hearings. It's just a matter of getting the issues on the floor for a vote.

With a lot of debate this past week-especially in the North Dakota House-bills are stacking up, waiting for decisions. A bill that would allow chain retailers like Walmart and Target to open pharmacies in the state is one of the last hearings this first half.

The bill deletes wording in North Dakota law that requires pharmacies to be majority-owned by pharmacists licensed in the state. The bill hearing is scheduled for 8 a.m. Tuesday in the state Capitol.

Higher education is again up for discussion this week. One bill requires more oversight of construction project costs and progress at North Dakota campuses.

Autism is also being discussed this week. One bill asks for a comprehensive study of the current system for the diagnosis, treatment, care and education of individuals with autism spectrum disorder.

Now, the session is far from over, of course, but the next few weeks will determine what issues lawmakers really think are important.