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Published February 10, 2011, 03:45 PM

Mandatory Evacuation Bill Approved in ND House

Legislation that gives a local manager power to order a mandatory evacuation in an emergency won approval in the North Dakota House.

By: Associated Press,

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Legislation that gives a local manager power to order a mandatory evacuation in an emergency won approval in the North Dakota House.

Critics of the bill said it would give a local emergency manager too much power. Representatives endorsed the bill on Thursday, 53-41. It now goes to the state Senate.

West Fargo Rep. Kim Koppelman said the bill gives a local official power to order a mandatory evacuation only to save lives.

Local authorities can now suggest evacuations but there's no penalty for people who refuse. The bill includes a fine of up to $500 for people who defy an evacuation order.

Fargo Rep. Jim Kasper says the bill would allow a "dictator" to override local elected officials.

The bill is HB1327.

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