As you saw from a previous post, probably the most significant activity of the week was the unanimous approval of SB2206 - social service funding - by the Senate Finance and Taxation Committee. This bill will be heard next week in the Senate Appropriations committee.
Also this week we saw strong House approval of HB1178 (81-12) to dedicate
funding to the local government costs of a statewide interoperable radio
system. Although it has a long way to go, it is encouraging that the
House has recognized the need in this area.
The House approved the regularly introduced Deficiency Appropriation,
which was HB1024 this year. Included in this bill was additional
borrowing authority to address the costs of the pipeline protest that remains
ongoing in Morton County, but involves law enforcement staff from many counties
across the state.
A well intentioned, but poorly crafted efforts to keep property taxes down
for seniors was soundly defeated (23-70) in the House. HB1285
proposed to freeze property values for every property owner over the age of
65 (regardless of income and assets).
A county requested bill, SB2160, to clarify the duties of the county
recorders regarding tax liens found favor in the Senate with unanimous passage.
Also receiving unanimous Senate support was SB2197, a county bill to clarify
road bidding. It actually corrected issues created by the last
As will be obvious from next week's hearing schedule (link below), things
are moving along rapidly in the Legislature. The hearing schedule is very
short, and a number of bills have already "crossed-over" to the other
chamber. If the appropriations committees can also complete their work at
this pace, they may actually be able to adjourn with days left "in the
bank" as leadership hopes. This
however, does not mean things will be uneventful in the coming week. Plenty of
bills remain “in committee” and still require final action. A lot of interesting debate will be going on,
and it will certainly involve county issues.
Keep watching, and keep talking to your legislators - it makes a difference.
Hearing schedule can be found with this report here:
- ▼ February (8)
- ► 2016 (21)
- ► 2015 (69)