Week 2 Update & Upcoming Schedule

Click here to view NDACo tracking of bills to be heard January 16-20

Update from Week 2:

SB2044 that would have moved the transportation funding reports required of counties, cities and townships from the Tax Dept. to the NDDOT was defeated on the Senate floor.  There was some discussion of eliminating the requirement, but the NDDOT said they needed the data, but didn’t have the staff to collect it.

Rep. Heinert’ s bill (HB1119) to require all communication of property taxes to be in dollars instead of mills was passed unanimously in the House.

After vigorous debate, a bill to give a 15-year property tax exemption to natural gas pipelines serving currently unserved communities was passed in the House 92-2.

The State Librarian’s bill (SB2050) to establish greater uniformity in determining local funding efforts for libraries was passed in the Senate  and reported over to the House.

The Senate unanimously passed SB2113 as requested by NDDOT.  This bill creates a separate fund which would permit the State to fund local road projects connected to a state improvement – something currently prohibited for moneys in the state highway fund.

The bill to add “last year’s specials” onto the estimated property tax notice (SB2121) passed the Senate unanimously.

The House Human Services Committee heard testimony on HB1046 to provide updates to direct and indirect Zone costs and outlined a process for making Zone changes. The bill was developed collaboratively with Zone Director’s although several amendments for better clarity were offered by NDACo. No action was taken as the committee will redraft the amendments for consideration.

Sen. Judy Lee introduced SB2136 to increase the maximum taxable value for the homestead property tax credit program. This state-funded assistance for low-income elderly and disabled folks is an important element in efforts to keep people in their own homes as long as possible. NDACo supported the bill but also suggested a possible amendment to index both the income and value limits so that each year they would automatically adjust without bringing legislation every two years. The committee’s seemed interested in the indexing idea, but took no action.

About 20 ND Sheriffs & Deputies attended Law Day at the Capitol Thursday. They met with legislators and sat with their Representatives and Senators during floor sessions. Many attended a hearing to support changes to the ND State Crime Lab.

ND Assoc of County Engineers representative Jason Benson, Cass Co. and Ward County Engineer Dana Larson testified in support of HB 1127 to the House Political Subdivision Committee.  This bill aligns the bidding requirements of the highway and bridge sections of the Century Code.  This bill also increases the bid threshold to $200,000 for bridges and highways.  The committee voted 14-0 as a do pass for the bill.

Friday morning starting at 8:30, the House Government & Veterans Affairs Committee will hear 1039 and 1040, the bills to close the NDPERS Defined Benefit Plan and move new employees to a Defined Contribution Plan. This would impact new hires and apply to the main plan. You can watch the hearing here: https://video.ndlegis.gov/en/PowerBrowser/PowerBrowserV2/20230112/-1/28396

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