Written by, Mason Sisk (Assistant to the House Majority Leader)
Conference committees are in full swing and we are working with the Senate to put bills in the best possible form before they are sent to the Governor’s desk. We have been working around the clock to defend the House’s position on conference committees and have had much shorter floor sessions. We are still hoping to be able to save a few days and not go a full eighty days.
The controversy regarding NDSU Sanford Nursing school has been resolved and an amendment to the lease agreement has been made. This involves setting the rent back to $1 per year for the remaining two years of the lease. This saves the taxpayers money, ensures that students will not have to carry the burden of paying for this huge increase in rent, and helps NDSU maintain their program in Bismarck. The legislative body never had an intention of closing the school. The newly revised agreement will be on the agenda of the State Board of Higher Education at the end of the month.
A bill to absorb county social services in a two-year pilot program into the state health department was debated on the floor for over an hour on Wednesday. The House Finance and Taxation committee amended the bill to take away the 12% buy-down for property tax relief and automatic inflators. The state is going to provide over $1.1 billion dollars in property tax relief in the next biennium and take away 20 mil levies of local property tax authority. By doing this, the state will be providing permanent property tax relief and make the government more effective. This bill is going conference committee with the Senate.
The senate has officially concurred with our amendments to the medical marijuana bill and tt is on the way to the Governor’s desk. Burgum also signed the innovative education bill, that will allow for more local control and enhance the delivery of education into the classroom with the approval of DPI.
Many of the large budgets and issues will not be finalized until the final days of the session.
*Mason Sisk is serving as the Assistant to the House Majority Leader.
*Ian Grande is the Editor of the Stanley Gazette. Feel free to reach out with any comments/concerns (StanleyGazette@gmail.com)
- Check out: Sen. Jordan Kannianen: Legislative Update