WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 17, 2011, 11:20 AM

ND minority party determined to offer another point of view

Bismarck, ND (WDAY TV) - Democrats make up one-fourth of the legislators making decisions for the people of North Dakota. Despite their low numbers, they are determined to offer another point of view this session. Capitol correspondent Teri Finneman gives us the minority report.

By: Teri Finneman, WDAY

With 37 Democrats-compared to 104 Republicans-the minority wishes there was more political balance at the state Capitol, but they still think they made a difference for North Dakota this year.

STATE SENATOR MAC SCHNEIDER - (D) Grand Forks: “We are diminished in numbers, but if you look at some important pieces of legislation we really see the democratic footprint.”

Schneider points to the Democrats' efforts in child care, need-based financial aid and school bullying. Still, Democrats wish they could have expanded children's health insurance, made progress on another oil refinery and made more investments since the state has money.

STATE REPRENTATIVE SHIRLEY MEYER - (D) Dickinson: “We need to take care of our children, and we need to take care of our senior citizens and then we will be successful.”

Republicans say Democrats get a chance to share their views and be heard. Some say there's more friction within the Republican Party this session than between Republicans and Democrats.

Democrats say they did their best with what they had.

STATE REPRESTATIVE PHIL MUELLER - (D) Valley City: “It was important that maybe the other side of the issues be heard. And I think we did a good job, as I said, of doing that. We fulfilled our job as the loyal opposition I think fairly well.”

And they hope they can come back stronger when the Legislature meets again. Next Sunday, we'll bring you the Republican perspective.