Wednesday, June 17, 2015

ND Lawmakers Return to Finish Business

Legislators returned to the Capitol to wrap up their work on Senate Bill 2022, the state's Retirement and Investment Office and Public Employees Retirement System budget. Legislators left in May without passing the budget bill due to the House and Senate being unable to reach a compromise. Lawmakers met prior to this week to work on a compromise to present to both the House and Senate chambers. Still, several lawmakers stood up on the floor to criticize the legislative process used to get to this point.

Lawmakers were also given an update on oil tax revenues for the 2015-2017 biennium since oil prices were above the threshold to avoid hitting an oil tax trigger. The Office of Management and Budget says an increase of $527 million in oil taxes can be anticipated due to the trigger not hitting. That figure is based on a production of 1.1 million barrels and the average price of oil in May. The additional revenues will be spread amongst several state funds. The greatest fund to benefit from the additional dollars is the strategic investment and improvements fund which is used to fund infrastructure projects. 

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