Report from the Sixty-Third Session of the North Dakota Legislature.
Representative Rick Holman, Monday, April 1, 2013
Today was the 58th day of the 80 that we are allowed. Most of the bills coming forward are the result of more deliberation on both the Senate and House and have been adjusted and changed in committee hearings. At this point of the process, however, the floor debate will often bring up issues that reverse the recommendation. Other bills, because of changes on the House side will be sent to a six member Conference Committee made up of three Senators and three Representatives. Their recommendation will be considered one more time, with the result being either defeat or passage sending it to the Governor for his signature.
I thought that at this juncture, it might be good to look at what has been proposed for project funding as a result of legislation moving forward. Most of the larger budget bills are still being discussed and will not be coming forward for final action for a week or two. Here are some examples of pending funding proposals.
Major funding decreases:
HB 1145 – Reduces insurance premium tax revenue to general fund (7,666,386)
HB 1250 – Reduces income tax rates (estimated revenue reduction of $378.4 million) (251,000,000) 2
SB 2142 – Provides sales tax exemption for telecommunications infrastructure development (4,740,000)
SB 2156 – Reduces individual and corporate income tax rates (125,000,000)
SB 2163 – Changes the gaming tax structure (2,500,000)
HB 1012 – Reduces the Department of Human Services budget (31,534,552)
HB 1006 – Reduces the State Tax Commissioner budget (20,781,022)
HB 1020 – Reduces the State Water Commission budget (17,779,644)
Major funding increases:
HB 1013/SB 2036 – Transfers funds to schools for property tax relief $341,790,000
HB 1015 – Transfer to property tax relief sustainability fund 373,210,000
HB 1198 – Property tax relief credit 147,600,000
HB 1013 – Department of Public Instruction budget 587,235,915
SB 2364 – Changes financial institutions tax structure 6,910,000
SB 2176 – Department of Transportation roadway projects $620,000,000
HB 1358 – Oil-related programs and funding distributions 165,160,000
SB 2176 – Special transportation funding distributions to non-oil-producing political subdivisions 100,000,000
SB 2012 – Transportation funding distributions to oil-producing townships 17,715,000
SB 2333 – UND Medical School building project 55,700,000
SB 2014 – Transfer to housing incentive fund 30,000,000
HB 1261 – Rapid enrolment grants for elementary and secondary schools 17,000,000
HB 1312 – Relocation of Missouri River Correctional Centera to Mandan 12,200,000
As is evident from the above listing, the Assembly is working hard to address some of the issues that have come forward, such as fixing state’s infrastructure and providing additional tax relief. The numbers in the above list may change and be adjusted, but the end result will show that we are working carefully to respond to some of the people’s needs. Things missing from the list also provide evidence that we are not taking care of some of the issues that impact people. The issues of child care, housing, health care, worker protection, education, and all those issues that deal with lifting people up are still being short-changed by the 2013 Legislature. I hope our state has not lost sight that much of the past success in our state has come from providing opportunities for people to move to the next level. My grandparents came to this state in the late 1800’s and took advantage of programs that allowed them to combine their strong work ethic with legislated opportunity to succeed, they did just that. Until next week, think Spring….
You can get more information about the legislative process by going to the North Dakota Legislative Web page: http://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/63-2013/regular.