Thursday, January 19, 2017

NDACo Legislative Report #4

NDACo Legislative Report #4

This has been a very busy week of hearings with great participation by County Recorders as well as Auditors and Treasurers. 

The Recorders provided expert testimony regarding several bills impacting the process of land records and their advice and counsel was well received.

Auditors and Treasurers weighed in on the appropriations for new election equipment, property tax caps, and value limitations.

The state’s budget struggles have contributed to Do No Pass recommendations on the election appropriations, however it seems the testimony regarding the limitations on local government budgeting have so far been well received and understood.

Moving very rapidly this week was the borrowing authority for paying the costs of law enforcement involved in the pipeline protest.  SB2174 was heard early in the week in the Senate, moved to the floor and passed, and has already received a Do Pass recommendation in the House committee.  This is essential to paying the costs of the many, many counties that have dedicated deputies to this effort.  It shows how fast the Legislature can move if it must.

A very solid hearing was held on Tuesday to consider a 50-cent increase in the local 9-1-1 fee for the statewide radio effort.  Testimony about the communication problems encountered by sheriffs involved in the DAPL protest was convincing testimony for the need.

The House GVA committee heard a rather bizarre bill on Thursday to prohibit “public employees” (which the sponsor suggested included locally elected officials) from attending legislative hearings while receiving publically funded expenses or salary.  This was vigorously opposed by counties, cities, schools and parks. 

Next week will see hearings for some significant county legislation as well as a number of “administrative-type” measures requested by the counties.  Check out the hearing schedule at the link below, come to Bismarck if you can, and certainly let your local Legislators know how you feel.

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