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AG: Law limiting state auditor likely unconstitutional

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – North Dakota’s attorney general says a new law that requires that state auditor to get approval from a legislative committee to conduct performance audits is likely unconstitutional.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem issued the opinion Friday just days before the law was to take effect. Approval of the measure, which came during the legislative session’s final days in April, has drawn widespread criticism and spurred a referral campaign to ask voters to strip the legislation from the books.

State Auditor Josh Gallion, who requested the opinion in May, believes it bolsters his authority to conduct audits as he so chooses. Stenehjem says the new law will likely lead a court to determine if it’s unconstitutional under the separation of powers doctrine.

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