Sunday, January 1, 2017

Legislative Schedule for Week 1

NDACo Legislative Report #1
Well it is starting –neither storm, nor wind, nor wind chill will keep the Legislature from convening.  Things kick off on Tuesday with Governor Burgum’s first big address to the Legislature and the citizens of North Dakota.  His “State of the State” will be given in the House Chambers, and as such will be streamed live via the Legislature’s website.  You can check it our yourself at http://video.legis.nd.gov/
Everyone will be listening for Burgum’s priorities and how they differ from the Executive Budget prepared by Jack Dalrymple.  Importantly for counties will be his decision regarding the state funding of county social services. 
Speaking of budgets, for those planning to testify on an agency budget, it may get a bit confusing – at least before crossover.  For the first time in anybody’s memory, the Legislature has introduced its own agency budgets, while also accepting the introduction of those budget bills prepared by OMB for Governor Dalrymple.  As an example, HB1020 is the Water Commission budget prepared by the Legislative Council, which is essentially the 2015 budget as adjusted in the Special Session – sort of a zero-based budgeting approach.  While HB1080 is the Governor’s budget with his recommended decreases and increases.  Of course Governor Burgum may ask a legislator to introduce his own agency budget bills, or possibly provide recommended amendments.  With all that paper for each agency, one will really need to know what the committee is using as a reference point.
With hearings only Wednesday – Friday, and 35 freshman to orient, the committee schedule is a bit light.  Mainly broad budget overviews for the full appropriations committees, some specific educational presentations, and hearings on mostly interim committee bills.  The hearing schedule below contains the bills that we have flagged as county related. 
As in past sessions, we have coded them by major topic area (A=Major Funding, J=Justice & Public Safety, etc.)  The entire code key is available behind the “weekly reports” tab at the left.  We also give each bill a ranking of zero to four stars (*) based on our preliminary assessment of the financial and/or policy impact. 
The links should be live on the bill numbers below, so you can read what is actually being proposed, but don’t hesitate to shoot one of the legislative team an email if you have questions.

To see the schedule of bills we are tracking for the week of 1/4 follow this link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4bYba4CUTL1LWlHMWNFQ3NxLUE


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