Rep. Rick Holman, March 1, 2015
A Third Down?
Why Are So Many Things In Threes?
Last Friday we attended the hockey match between UND and St. Cloud. Hockey has three periods, one to see what the other team has to offer, a second to capitalize on that knowledge and the third when, in a close match like Friday night, there is lots of action and excitement. UND won 3-2 but not without a flurry of action at the UND goal in the last few seconds. That got me thinking about threes…
Marilyn and I have three children, a long life is considered to have three stages, basketball has a three point play, Christians have a three-part God. We often talk about the three legged stool for taxes and our first wheeled vehicle likely had three wheels. Even the North Dakota Legislative Session has three parts.
We are at Crossover, the time when remaining bills move to the other house for further consideration. The House passed 316 of 470 (67%) introduced while the Senate passed 283 of 378 (75%)). Many call this half-time, but really it’s only a third of the way. After more hearings and more votes, legislation that has been altered from earlier actions will move to the third period which may require a Conference Committee. The committee will iron out the House/Senate differences and put the legislation in a form that will please a majority of legislators and, of course, the Governor. In that third period of the legislature there’s lots of action and often a few surprises.
Here’s a sampling of bills the House sent to the Senate.
HB1003: Higher Education which funds the Board and all eleven colleges. 2419 non-faculty employees.
HB1012: Department of Transportation.1079 employees.
HB 1014: Industrial Commission which includes the State Bank, Minerals Division, Housing Finance and State Mill. 488 employees.
HB 1004: Department of Health: 361 employees.
HB 1015: Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation: 850 employees.
HB 1186: Prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. A ban on use by minors and raising the tax on e-cigs failed.
HB 1223: Reduce individual and corporate income tax.
HB 1257: Equal pay for men and women.
HB 1443: Establish an infrastructure loan fund for cities and counties.
Here are some good ideas that did not make it. I have a feeling that here too, the rule of three applies. Some veterans of the legislative process say that it takes three sessions before a majority of legislators buy in to a good idea.
HB 1327 would have created a sales tax exemption for non-profit thrift stores.
HB 1371 would have created a tax credit for renters of residential property.
HB 1421 would have raised the tax on tobacco and use the money for health issues.
HB 1438 would have raised the wages for tipped employees to the minimum wage.
For the next month, we, in the House will be working on Senate bills, then on to the third period. where a six member Conference Committees with, of course, three Senators and three Representatives who will iron out their differences. Approved bills will be sent to the governor for his signature and become part of North Dakota law.
Enjoy this month of March as we transition to spring. Rep. Rick Holman.
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