John Bjornson named as Legislative Council director

July 11, 2018

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Legislature’s top attorney has been hired as the new director of the Legislature’s research agency.

The bipartisan Legislative Management Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to hire John Bjornson to lead the Legislative Council. Its incumbent director, Jim Smith, is retiring in August after 39 years with the agency.

The nonpartisan research arm’s 34-member staff includes accountants and attorneys who draft new laws and budget proposals for lawmakers. The agency has a two-year budget of $11.8 million.

The 55-year old Bjornson is a native of Edinburg and a graduate of the University of North Dakota. He began working at the agency in 1988.

The committee did not discuss his compensation. Smith is paid $191,000 annually.

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