Thursday, April 29, 2021

NDACo Legislative Update: Legislature Adjourns

The North Dakota Legislative Session wrapped up it's work late Thursday night/early Friday morning on Day 76. Conference committees have been meeting all week, working to reach agreements on Appropriations bills. The Legislature gave final action on a few bills summarized below.
  • The House and Senate both passed HB 1380, otherwise referred to as the Streams Bill, which included a $60 million stream for the highway distribution fund intended to begin next biennium.
  • The Senate killed SB2046 which sought to close the NDPERS Defined Benefit (DB) plan for new State Employees at the end of the biennium. The proposal separated the State and local government plans and did not force the closure of the DB plan for political subdivisions. It also included a a funded consultant’s study during the interim will identify the implications of this two both “halves” of the plan. The Senate defeated the bill, saying the issue should be studied and lawmakers should review the findings prior to making the decision to close the DB plan.
  • The final bill for reconciliation was the OMB Budget (HB 1015) which includes $20 million in township road support and an additional $100 million to the NDDOT for grants to road and bridge projects at all levels.
  • Lawmakers also gave final approval on HB 1253, a major election reform bill. The conference committee focused primarily on shortening the deadlines for post-election work. The biggest change is moving the county canvassing board meeting to 13 days after Election Day.  
House Majority Leader Chet Pollert, commented at the conclusion that this was the toughest session he's been part of but proud of the work and the achievements of the 67th Legislative Session. 

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