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Posts from the ‘Reports & Updates from Rick’ Category

Rep. Rick Holman, Legislative Report, August 23, 2016.

Budget Fix: Earlier this month a special session of the Legislature approved Senate Bill 2379 which made changes in the previously approved two-year budget in order to meet the constitutionally required balanced budget. Here’s a brief summary.

  • The legislation requires an additional 2.50 percent which when combined with earlier reductions (4.05 percent in February) authorizes a reduced two-year budget for all but two agencies by 6.55 percent, resulting in a $396 million reduction in general fund expenditures.  In this area we have Mayville State and are close to both UND and NDSU which have had to make adjustments in their budgets to meet the change. Mayville State has made the necessary adjustments but with increased enrollment and long term planning, MSU will continue the excellence we have seen over the past few years. MSU’s original 2015-2017 two-year budget was $16,739,145. With the reduction of ($1,096,414) the new budget amount is $15,642,731.   Read more
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Rep. Rick Holman • Legislative Report, May 22, 2016

The Interim Education Committee is made up of twenty-three Senators and Representatives who in most cases also serve on the Education Committee during the regular session. I do not, so this has been a good way to reconnect with my past as a junior high math teacher and high school principal. The topics studied during this session have included reports from state officials overseeing our system of education. At last week’s meeting, data presented got me to reflect on the changing face of education in North Dakota. The shift of our population from rural to urban is evident when you look at individual school district enrollment and graduation numbers.

Last week, a local newspaper had a list of all the graduates in Traill County’s four high schools, Central Valley, Hatton, Hillsboro and MPCG. The total number of graduates in these four high schools is 81. That number stands out to me because, forty years ago, Mayville-Portland (MP), without Clifford-Galesburg (CG) graduated 81 seniors. In 1976, one district, of the five in Traill County, had the same number of graduates as all of Traill County in 2016. That change has an impact on local and state funding, building space utilization, sports teams, staffing, and the availability of academic offerings. The increase in state support over the past four years has helped to lower taxes but actual funding may have decreased for rural schools because the funding is tied to head count. As an example, if staffing and facilities are designed to handle 300 students and the number drops to 250, at the current rate of $9500 per student, state support will decrease by about 475,000 dollars, without a proportional decrease in local cost; Hence, the local taxes may need to be raised just to maintain the previous educational programs. This is a dilemma that every rural school board and property owner must face.  Hopefully, even with the drop in state income due to the oil and ag industries’ slowdown, we will be able to maintain the current amount of state support for local public schools.

A few weeks ago, I was approached by a school counselor regarding the amount of testing that is required for our students. The Common Core Standards and the Smarter Balanced Assessment have been in place for some time and have been criticized by many. In my opinion, the standards are not the problem, but the testing may be. Standards are needed to make sure that our children are prepared for the world they are entering after graduation. Having uniform curriculum insures that our local graduates will be as well prepared as someone graduating from any high school in the U.S. Local school administrators have been working hard to see that their staff is prepared to deliver a high quality education that will have our children up to speed to enter college or the workforce anywhere. Kristin Baesler, Superintendent of Public Instruction, has indicated that the state would be writing new standards in mathematics and English for the future.  I hope that any changes will keep what is good and adjust where there is concern, most likely with the testing. Here is a case where the attitude of some about federal overreach does not fit. Certain things need to be common across state lines for education or commerce to work efficiently.

Part of the responsibility of a legislator sitting on an interim committee is to learn and be better prepared for issues in the upcoming legislative session. This look at our state’s educational system has helped to bring me up to speed on the many issues that impact every family and community in our state. It’s been a long time since I was a teacher and principal. Some things are the same but many are different. This update has been good for me.  Rick Holman

 

Tell me and I will forget. 

Show me and I will remember. 

Involve me and I will understand. – Confucius

 

Rep. Rick Holman • Legislative Report, April 22, 2016

One of the responsibilities of Legislators during the time between sessions is to serve on interim study committees.  The Higher Education Committee is made up of legislators from House and Senate to study issues, receive reports and propose legislation for the 2017 Legislative Assembly.

During this interim the meetings have not been held in Bismarck, but on several of the college campuses. At all meetings, there are also representatives from the State Board of Higher Education (SBHE) which has the responsibility of governing the entire system. At each meeting we are brought up to date on issues pertinent to the host institution. So far we have visited Dickinson, Williston, Devils Lake, NDSU, Bottineau, and Minot. In June we will visit Valley City and at our final meeting in August we will hear from UND and tour the new Med School. Missing from the list so far are Bismarck, Wahpeton and Mayville. The new facilities at Mayville would be a good tour if time allows. Even though the Governor’s recent cuts in funding  to meet the constitutional requirement of a balanced budget have required some changes, all institutions are making the necessary adjustments with the hope that our commodity based state budget will recover. Read more

Reflections on the 2016 Democratic/NPL Convention

IMG_1700Rep. Rick Holman,  April 5, 2016.

Marilyn and I have attended most of the Dem/NPL Conventions for the past 30 or 40 years. In the 70’s and 80’s we lived in Steele County so were delegates for District 23. In the early 90’s when we moved to the Mayville area we have followed District 20. This year’s convention had some differences worth noting.

Why? For the past year or so, the party leadership has been Kylie Oversen, Chair and Rob Haider, Executive Director. Anyone who knows them would classify them as young and talented. Looking around at the attendees at the convention, it was obvious that something has changed likely due to their influence. There were a lot of young people including a lot of young women. The Convention theme was Building for the Future while Honoring the Past. Currently, the ND Dem Party is at a low point when considering our presence in the Legislature and in statewide offices. The Republicans have a super majority in the Legislature, as well as every elected state office.  Read more

Come one…. Come all!

It’s that time!  The District 20 Convention is right around the corner.  We would love to see you there…  bring family and friends, share questions and concerns – and share a little “Dem” fellowship!

District Convention

D20 Dems Plan for 2016 Re-election Campaign

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Rep. Rick Holman To Seek Re-Election

Rick Holman, one of two State Representatives for District 20, has announced that he will be seeking re-election to the North Dakota House of Representatives in the 2016 election. Rick was first elected in 2008, re-elected in 2012, and has served in four Legislative sessions.

Following his re-election in 2012 Rick was appointed to the House Appropriations Committee and Human Resources Sub-Committee. This Sub-Committee reviews the budgets for several agencies; Human Services, Health, Corrections, Veterans Affairs, Veterans Home, Tobacco Control, Indian Affairs, Council for the Arts and more. The full Read more

Interim Legislative Report – November

Legislative Report, December 8, 2015

Representative Rick Holman, ND District 20

Just last week, I attended a meeting which consisted of the Secretary of State Al Jaeger, members of his staff, several legislators, and members from the Cass, Burleigh, and Stutsman County Auditor’s offices. I had hoped that low population counties would have been present but because the Auditors in those counties have multiple responsibilities, elections being one, it’s harder for them to attend. The discussion was about the need for replacement of voting equipment that has handled the state’s elections for many years. The State Auditor’s goal is to find a way to Read more

A Week to Remember

A Week to Remember
North Dakota Legislators Travel to Berlin
Rep. Rick Holman

From September 26th to October 3rd I was fortunate to join eleven of my fellow legislators on a week-long study trip to Berlin and Potsdam, Germany. Led by our experienced guide, Jurgen Pinnow, we listened, learned, discussed, and by the end of the week had a fuller understanding of the country where many North Dakotans can trace their roots. There are many similarities between our two countries, but the Berlin and Potsdam area where we visited has experienced war and tragedy that most of us have only read about or seen in movies.  Read more

Rep. Rick Holman – Legislative Report

Rep. Rick Holman Legislative Report, ND District 20, June 24, 2015

The North Dakota Legislature only meets for a maximum of 80 days every two years. This year the House and Senate adjourned after 78 days with some unfinished business, requiring a one-day return on June 16th to fund one agency, the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS). The problem was not with the main funding bill but with an amendment added because of anxiety about changing the health insurance carrier. Keep in mind, that the PERS Board draws up a plan and requests bids for state employee health insurance. Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) has been the only bidder for over thirty years but this year Sanford Health also Read more

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