Paula Thomsen, Valley City, N.D., Published March 12 2013
Letter: ND legislators ignore the votersI have become increasingly concerned with the actions some of our legislators have shown this session in disrespecting the wishes of North Dakota voters. There are bills attempting to make voting in general more difficult, to make it harder for regular people to initiate measures on the ballot, and to undermine the laws that voters created in the past by initiated measure.
Back in 2008, North Dakotans initiated a measure (Measure 3) whereby North Dakota voters supported creating a fund made up of a small percentage of tobacco settlement dollars to be used only for the prevention of tobacco use. Year after year, North Dakotans have reassured legislators that they knew what they were voting for – and that they still support this fund and its special purpose. In fact, in a new poll conducted in February 2013, 89 percent of North Dakotans still support that fund and its intent.
But session after session, some legislators have ignored this support, and unfortunately, it’s happening again this session. I am so disappointed to see any of those we elected dismiss the will of the people to use these Measure 3 funds for anything other than protecting our future generations from the harmful effects of using tobacco.
This is a public plea to all our elected legislators: Please do the right thing. Not only will you be showing respect to voters, you’ll be protecting the funds that have been specifically set aside to prevent North Dakota youth from ever using tobacco.