COVID-19 Information

Summary of Policy on Interim Committee Meetings

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Representative Chet Pollert, Chairman of the Legislative Management, requested all interim committee chairmen to consider whether interim committee meetings scheduled to meet in April and May may be postponed. The Chairman's policy indicated if an interim committee would have any time-sensitive items to consider, the meeting may be held remotely in a manner consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. Representative Pollert updated the policy to provide June interim committee meetings will be held remotely. In accordance with the CDC guidelines for social distancing, public access to the room in which any committee meeting is scheduled will be restricted. However, all interim committee meetings held under these circumstances will be live streamed and may be viewed through this link


The first reported case of COVID-19 was on January 10, 2020, and 10 days later, the United States confirmed its first positive test result. On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and North Dakota confirmed its first case of the illness. On March 13, 2020, President Donald J. Trump declared a national emergency, and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum issued Executive Order 2020-03 declaring a “state of emergency in North Dakota in response to the public health crisis resulting from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)” and activating the North Dakota State Emergency Operations Plan.

Legislative Response

On March 18, 2020, the Legislative Procedure and Arrangements Committee convened an interim legislative meeting in the Senate Chamber and by conference call for the first time due to public health recommendations related to COVID-19.

On March 19, 2020, Chairman Chet Pollert informed the Legislative Management members legislative leaders had met with the Governor regarding the COVID-19 situation. Chairman Pollert expressed the need to keep Legislative Assembly members informed, and the committee discussed having the Legislative Council staff involved in meetings for this purpose. Chairman Pollert also provided guidance about future interim committee meetings.

Also on March 19, 2020, the Budget Section approved a State Department of Health request to increase federal funds spending authority by $6 million, including $1.9 million in the grants line item to accept and expend funds from the CDC to contain and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. On April 7, 2020, the Budget Section approved requests for increases in federal funds spending authority relating to the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act from the Department of Human Services of $42.7 million, the Department of Public Instruction of $36.6 million, the Department of Transportation of $17,996,449, and the State Library of $200,000 and approved a request from the Department of Human Services to increase special funds spending authority by $36 million for the purpose of creating a Childcare Emergency Operation Grant program to support child care providers until the termination of the COVID-19 emergency declaration.

On April 15, 2020, the Employee Benefits Programs Committee provided a live stream option to members of the public in lieu of a meeting room for the first time due to public health considerations and in accordance with Executive Order 2020-16.

On May 15, 2020, the Budget Section approved a request from the Department of Health for the transfer of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention federal funds spending authority of $6 million from various line items to a new COVID-19 response line item. The Budget Section also increased federal funds spending authority as listed below.

  • Bank of North Dakota, $200 million
  • Job Service North Dakota, $110 million
  • State Department of Health, $91,308,461
  • Information Technology Department, $67,618,226
  • Department of Human Services, $58,660,690
  • Industrial Commission, $33,175,000
  • Department of Commerce, $5,303,030
  • Secretary of State, $3 million
  • Attorney General, $2,832,871
  • Department of Agriculture, $1,395,000
  • Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, $1,287,549
  • The Council on the Arts, $421,700
  • Veterans’ Home, $131,097
  • Department of Trust Lands, $120,000

Current information about scheduled and canceled meetings of the Legislative Management interim committees and about other activities relating to the legislative branch may be found on the Events Calendar.

Legislative Council

On March 19, 2020, Governor Burgum issued Executive Order 2020-06, which directed state entities to “accelerate the transition” to remote work and limited capitol access. On March 23, the Legislative Council closed its office to visitors, and most of its staff, along with most State of North Dakota employees, started working remotely. On May 18, the Legislative Council began a phased staff return; and on May 22, Governor Burgum issued Executive Order 2020-06.7, which authorized many state workers who had been working remotely to return to their offices and directed reopening of the capitol and other state facilities to the public, starting June 1.

Legislative Council staff continue to provide services to legislators and to members of the public and remain available by email at and by telephone at 701-328-2916.

Legislative Council Memorandums

Analysis of Executive Order 2020-06.4 Regarding Regulation of Businesses
Authority to Restrict Business Operations During a State Emergency
Census Delays - Potential Impacts on Funding and Legislative Representation
Federal Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Relief Funding
Federal State Fiscal Recovery Funds - Treasury Department Guidelines
Governor’s Authority to Issue Executive Orders Suspending Unemployment Compensation Provisions in an Emergency
Gubernatorial Emergency Powers
Gubernatorial Executive Orders Declaring States of Emergency and Degree of Legislative Involvement
Gubernatorial Executive Orders Mandating Voting by Mail
Gubernatorial Executive Orders Related to Restricting Access to Private Businesses and State Facilities
Gubernatorial Executive Orders Related to Extending Workers' Compensation Coverage
Legal Considerations for Remote Legislative Sessions
Legislative Emergency Powers
Summary of Executive Orders Issued in Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
Summary of United States House of Representatives Bill No. 133 - Preliminary Estimate of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Federal Fiscal Relief Funding
Summary of United States House of Representatives Bill No. 1319 Preliminary Estimate of Federal Funds Available to North Dakota
Travel, Quarantine, and Sanitation Orders
Responding to the Census During the Pandemic
Use of Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act Funding


Statutory Resources

23-01-05(12) - Orders relating to disease control measures
23-01.3-05 - Nonpublic disclosure in emergency circumstances
23-01.3-07 - Disclosure of a public health incident
23-35-08(8) - Confinement, decontamination, and sanitary measures
23-07 - Reportable Diseases
23-07.6 - Communicable Disease Confinement Procedure
37-17.1 - Emergency Services
37-17.4 - Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act
37-17.5 - Disaster or Emergency Remediation Work
54-16 - Emergency Commission

State of North Dakota Resources

State Department of Health Hotline: 1-866-207-2880, Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

State of North Dakota COVID-19 Resources
State Department of Health Coronavirus Information
Governor's Executive Orders
State Health Officer Orders
Bank of North Dakota COVID-19 Update
COVID-19 Business and Employer Resources
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Insurance
COVID-19 Cyber Threats
COVID-19 Tax Guidance
COVID-19 Tribal Information
Council on the Arts COVID-19 Resources
Department of Agriculture COVID-19 Information
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation COVID-19 Information
Department of Emergency Services Disaster Procedures Guide
Department of Environmental Quality COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information
Department of Financial Institutions COVID-19 Resources
Department of Human Services Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources
Department of Labor and Human Rights FAQ on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
Department of Mineral Resources COVID-19 Response
Department of Public Instruction Updates and Guidance on COVID-19
Department of Transportation Information - COVID-19
Game and Fish Department COVID-19 Response
Housing Finance Agency Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
North Dakota Parks and Recreation COVID-19 Update
North Dakota State University Extension Service COVID-19 Resource Webpage
North Dakota University System Coronavirus Information
Office of the State Auditor COVID-19 Update
Open Meeting Requirements During COVID-19 National Emergency
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
Public Service Commission COVID-19 Office and Hearing Procedures
Supreme Court Emergency Order and Pandemic Response
Team ND and COVID-19
Workforce Safety and Insurance Coronavirus Information


Additional Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Council of State Governments - COVID-19 Resources for State Leaders
National Conference of State Legislatures - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources for States 
The Pew Charitable Trusts - State Action on Coronavirus
Stateside - 2020 State and Local Government Responses to COVID-19
World Health Organization - Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic

The content provided on this website is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The provided information is not intended to be exhaustive but will be updated periodically. The Legislative Council makes no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided by outside sources.