Thursday, March 16, 2017

NDACo Legislative Report #12

The hearing schedule is getting short, and tensions are beginning to rise as the Legislature gets ever closer to the end. Some are saying Easter Monday is the day they hope to adjourn, but others think that this is incredibly optimistic.  The issues of casinos gambling, restructuring the NDPERS health plan, taxing internet sales, property tax relief and of course the ending fund balance will undoubtedly be the final issues of the session, and the two bodies seem in disagreement on most of these.

As our previous post indicates, we had well attended (and we believe) successful hearings on the “property tax relief through social service funding “ and “property tax caps” issues.  These are both likely to have very different positions in each of the chambers and will be part of that “property tax relief/reform” discussion in the final days.  We will let you know when it will be necessary to start contacting legislators on the floor, but don’t hesitate to let them know when they come home for forums.

During the last few days however, we have seen plenty of action on our less “political” issues.

This week we saw:
  • The governor sign the bill to prevent phone companies from “double-dipping” on the charges to local 9-1-1 programs (HB1027)
  • The Senate pass the House Bill (HB1250) to FINALLY clarify the process for disclosing sales prices on real property transfers.
  • The Senate to also pass the bill (HB128) to remove the hard mandate about counties buying century code books.
  • The House pass two favorable publication bills – clarifying and reducing county costs for bid notices.
  • The House also pass a bill allowing the Bank of North Dakota to expand its infrastructure loan fund in a manner that will make it available to county road projects.
In the area of legislation needing local action, we have SB2204, addressing the state costs associated with the Statewide Interoperable Radio System (SIRN).  This bill would put a surcharge on traffic offenses and the revenue would go into the SIRN project.  It was designed to address two important law enforcement goals – making our speeding fines less ridiculous, and helping fund some much needed infrastructure.  The bill was voted out of the House Transportation Committee on Thursday with a 9-5 Do Not Pass recommendation.  It will take every county sheriff, police chief, fire chief, EMS volunteer, and 911 coordinator (and frankly every local government officials) to turn this around on the floor of the House.  We expect this to hit the floor early next week.  The message must be “Vote YES on SB2204” to support public safety.”

As noted and shown below, next week will have only a few “county bill” hearings, but there will be plenty of action in the committees as they debate the tougher issues they have left before them. Don’t hesitate to come to Bismarck and watch them work – it is often quite interesting and will certainly help keep county concerns at the forefront.


Comment
Room
Monday 3/20


9:00
Civil action for elder abuse 
House Judiciary 
Prairie 
9:00
E  
LC Budget for NDPERS Administration 
Senate Appropriations 
Harvest 
9:00
J ** 
DOCR Budget 
H-Approp. HR
Sakakawea 
9:00
Certain records of counsel for indigents confidential
Senate Judiciary 
Fort Lincoln 
9:30
Clarifies offenses against minors 
Senate Judiciary 
Fort Lincoln 
9:40
New financial exploitation of vulnerable adult crime 
House Judiciary 
Prairie 
10:30
Changes to vulnerable adult statute 
House Judiciary 
Prairie 
11:00
S ***  
Budget for OMB - public guardianship funds 
Senate Appropriations 
Harvest 
2:00
Prime bids to list subcontractors to be used 
House Industry, Bus. & Labor 
Peace Garden 
2:00
J ** 
DOCR Budget 
H-Approp. HR
Sakakawea 
2:00
E * 
NDPERS Health to be self-insured 
House IB&L 
Peace Garden 
2:00
S ***  
Budget for OMB - public guardianship funds 
Senate Appropriations 
Harvest 
3:00
Expanded review for state to accept federal funding 
Senate Appropriations 
Harvest 
Tuesday 3/21


8:30
Donor to nonprofit-info not public 
House Judiciary 
Prairie 
8:30
J ** 
DOCR Budget 
H-Approp. HR
Sakakawea 
9:00
J *** 
Limits law enforcement ability to collect civil forfeitures 
Senate Judiciary 
Fort Lincoln 
9:00
Some of state share of oil revenues to go to Budget Stabilization Fund 
Senate Appropriations 
Harvest 
9:30
J *** 
Medical Marijuana implementation  
House Human Services 
Fort Union 
9:50
Enforcement of Canadian Domestic Violence orders 
House Judiciary 
Prairie 
10:00
J * 
Restrictions on use of confidential informants 
Senate Judiciary 
Fort Lincoln 
2:00
J ** 
DOCR Budget 
H-Approp. HR
Sakakawea 

Wednesday 3/22


8:30
J ** 
DOCR Budget 
H-Approp. HR
Sakakawea 
9:00
Study juvenile justice system 
House Judiciary 
Prairie 
9:30
Firearm surrender due to domestic violence court order 
Senate Judiciary 
Fort Lincoln 
Thursday 3/23


9:15
R* 
Study cost of public notice publication costs 
Senate Political Subdivisions 
Red River 
9:30
J ** 
DOCR Budget 
H-Approp. HR
Sakakawea 
10:00
V  
Study moving city elections to November 
Senate Political Subdivisions 
Red River 
Friday 3/24


8:30
J ** 
DOCR Budget 
H-Approp. HR
Sakakawea 

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