The North Dakota Legislature is poised to take a major step toward the end of North Dakota’s recreation industry.
On Tuesday, the State Legislature passed a bill that would make recreation centers that serve North Dakota residents illegal under state law.
The bill passed by a vote of 69-18, with six Republicans joining Democrats to vote against the measure.
Republican lawmakers are using the North Dakota Assembly’s override vote to force a statewide vote on the legislation, which would make recreational centers in North Dakota illegal under the state’s constitution.
The bill’s passage comes just a week after a similar measure passed the North Carolina House of Representatives.
The legislation, House Bill 792, would make all recreation centers in the state illegal under North Carolina’s constitution, a move that prompted the state to issue an injunction against the bill’s implementation.
A coalition of business, labor, environmental and civil rights organizations, however, said the North Dakotas recreation industry could not be shut down because the legislation does not address the issue of human trafficking and trafficking of animals.
“The North Dakota legislation is an important step toward ending human trafficking in our state,” said Kristen Sisk, legislative counsel for the Center for Biological Diversity.
“But this law will not end it.
The North Dakots legislature must pass legislation to protect North Dakoteans from human trafficking.”
The North Dakotes tourism industry, which includes lodging, restaurants and bars, generates nearly $4 billion annually.
A study conducted by the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill found that North Dakota tourism generates an estimated $12 billion in annual economic activity for the state, with more than 1,200 businesses employing more than 8,000 people.