History of bills Rep. Al Carlson has supported

The push to put UND's Fighting Sioux nickname into state law isn't the first controversial issue Rep. Al Carlson, R-Fargo, has backed. Here are some of the others:...

The push to put UND's Fighting Sioux nickname into state law isn't the first controversial issue Rep. Al Carlson, R-Fargo, has backed. Here are some of the others:

- 1997: Carlson sponsored a few hunting bills that met backlash. The bills sought to open most state roadways to hunting and to add limitations for nonresident hunters.

At the time, Carlson said he proposed the measures "to guarantee access and hunting opportunities for residents."

However, private landowners feared hunters would invade their property, possibly creating a safety hazard. Economic development and tourism officials defended the economic boom of out-of-state hunters.

The roadside hunting bill failed, but legislators compromised on the number of nonresident archery mule deer licenses the state would provide per season.


- 2007: Some North Dakotans wrote letters to the editor complaining about Carlson after his remarks on a particular bill. The legislation gave North Dakotans the right to shoot a burglar or carjacker with protection from criminal prosecution or civil lawsuits if they do.

At the time, Carlson said homeowners should not be obliged to try to find out whether a burglar is a potential danger before they defend themselves.

"I'd tell you what would happen in my house. I would shoot that person, and I would shoot them enough times that I knew he wasn't going to do any danger to me, or my family," Carlson said in 2007. "He'd leak like a watering can when I was done with him."

- 2007: Carlson was one of the petition sponsors of a movement to keep the Ten Commandments monument on the Fargo City Hall mall. At the time, Carlson said he sponsored the petition because it's "one way of getting voter involvement and getting the pulse of the community."

- 2009: Now majority leader, Carlson again stirred letters to the editor when the House failed to appropriate funding for a state tobacco control program passed by voters and for being "content to leave the bill dead."

House Republicans eventually voted to fund the tobacco program.

- 2011: Carlson sponsored a proposal to overhaul the state's education system. The resolution called for creating a state Department of Education that would oversee and administer all public education in the state.

It also would have nixed the state Board of Higher Education and the public election of the superintendent of public instruction. Carlson wanted the matter put to a public vote in 2012.


Education officials thought the proposal was too extreme and would create problems. They said the current system is working.

The bill passed the House, but failed in the Senate.

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