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Rep. Ruth Buffalo. Photo courtesy Kari Breker, via Ruth Buffalo

ND House approves missing persons bill

BISMARCK — Unanimously, the North Dakota House approved a bill Monday, Feb. 18, that expands beyond its original intent to include information gathering on all missing persons.

Rep. Ruth Buffalo, D-Fargo, introduced House Bill 1313 to the House Judiciary Committee, which gave a unanimous "do-pass" recommendation. Her original bill would have required the criminal justice data information sharing system to include data on missing and murdered indigenous persons.

Now the amended bill has expanded to include all missing persons, as the state has no central missing persons database, according to Rep. Aaron McWilliams, R-Hillsboro, who carried the bill.

The bill would track tribal membership, among other demographic data.

The House approved the bill 93-0. It now goes to the Senate.