Unfortunately, the actions of some of its legislators aren’t nearly as attractive. Case in point: House Bill No.1203, currently making its way through the legislative process.
The bill is a reaction to the peaceful (at least on the part of the protesters) pipeline protest at North Dakota’s Standing Rock Reservation. It seems that the mother of one of the legislators was inconvenienced by having to slow down while driving down a road, lined with parked cars and protesters.
Well, by Koch, the legislator, Rep. Keith Kempenich, wasn’t going to sit idly by and let his mother and others be inconvenienced by no damn environmental protesters. He got together with some of his fellow troglodytes (Representatives Mike Brandenburg, Vernon Laning, Bill Oliver, & Karen Rohr and Senators Dwight Cook & Donald Schaible) to put a stop to this tomfoolery. Btw, these are all Republicans. (Well, I did say they were “troglodytes.”)
Last week (1/9/16) they introduced House Bill No. 1203, which not only eliminates any fiscal liability for damages caused by injuring or killing a pedestrian protester “on a public road, street, or highway,”
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a driver of a motor vehicle who negligently causes injury or death to an individual obstructing vehicular traffic on a public road, street, or highway may not be held liable for any damages.
It also eliminates any criminal charges.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a driver of a motor vehicle who unintentionally causes injury or death to an individual obstructing vehicular traffic on a public road, street, or highway is not guilty of an offense.
Now, according to Kempenich,
It’s shifting the burden of proof from the motor vehicle driver to the pedestrian.
Problem is,it’s kind of like “Stand Your Ground.” How is the victim going to argue otherwise if he’s dead?
But Kempenich also admitted his real reason for the legislation. Regarding the protests, he stated,
It puts people on edge. People who live out there are feeling terrorized.
Btw, according to the Billings Gazette, Kempenich is chairman of the board “that decides how some of the state’s billions in oil wealth is invested.” (No conflict of interest there, I’m sure.)
The bill is set for hearings by the Joint Transportation Committee on the 20th of January.
(The above links on the sponsors’ names will provide you with their contact info, just in case you’d like to apprise them of your thoughts on this bill.)