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Legislative Updates

 

 Click on Bill Number to see current status
Click here to contact your legislators:  Click here
Call your legislators:  Toll Free 888-635-3447
 

2015
(Scroll down to see legislative reports)

 
List of bills affecting townships (Click on bill number to review):

HB 1012 (SUPPORT) DOT Budget $900M for state hwy
HB 1014 (monitor) short line RR loan program (and others)
HB 1031 (SUPPORT) oil and gas production tax for HIGHWAY 85 4-lane project
HB 1054  application and use of modifiers in ag-land assessments
HB 1055 (            ) converting from mills to cents/dollar
HB 1056
Rural Fire District Levy Bill
HB 1057 Notice of Assessment Increase
HB 1058 notices of a proposed property tax levy increase
HB 1059 tax assessor training amendment
HB 1176 (support) oil and gas gross production tax definitions and allocations

HB 1193 investments for political subdivisions (NDCC 21-06-07)
HB 1194 (MONITOR) subdivision may borrow  against anticipated revenue.
HB 1232 (MONITOR LOCAL ROAD REMEDIATION PLAN
HB 1258 (Monitor) enforcement of extraterritorial zoning (40-47-01.1)
HB 1270 (monitor) reclaimed land returning to ag-land assessment
HB 1287 (monitor) allocation of sales, use & excise taxes to subdivisions
HB 1318 (SUPPORT) ag development impact grants, fund for impacted subdivisions

HB 1326 (OPPOSE) Gravel-Rock-Soil loads must be covered
HB 1354 (OPPOSE) Limit increases of ag-land valuation to 10%
HB 1358 (SUPPORT) pipeline monitoring and safety
HB 1377 the “bucket bill” moratorium amendment on additional road fees
HB 1398 (                 ) non-voting representative on zoning board for residents of ET zone

HB 1401 (SUPPORT) exempt contractors from tax on items used for exempt organizations
HB 1432 (SUPPORT) the environmental impact litigation fund

HB 1435 $500 civil penalty for open meeting/records violations

SB 2024 (SUPPORT) reclaiming zoning authority previously relinquished to the county
SB 2054 (OPPOSE – AMEND) Tax Assessor Qualification bill
SB 2076 (SUPPORT) Study of the impact of the Fargo Diversion project
SB 2103 (SUPPORT), the "Surge" infrastructure funding bill
SB 2126 (monitor) Governor’s infrastructure funding bill
SB 2144 (SUPPORT – AMEND) Governor’s Task Force on Property Tax
SB 2195 (SUPPORT) Township Special Road Fund
SB 2217 (MONITOR ) Financial reports of un-elected boards
SB 2260 (SUPPORT) Economic Impact Grant Program for Political Subdivision
SB 2262 (monitor) increase the threshold for audit requirement
SB 2263 matching grants for certain township streets and roads
SB 2265 (monitor) would allow some lakeside residences to be valued at 65% of market
SB 2300 (OPPOSE) change ACIR into task-force
SB 2315 (NEUTRAL)Tort (liability) limit increase to $3M

HCR 3009 (SUPPORT) A resolution urging Congress to prevent new rules in “Clean Water Act”

                                                      TO ALL TOWNSHIP OFFICERS:                                         

Our "Man in Bismarck", Larry Syverson, is putting in a lot of very long days monitoring legislative activities and doing what he can to promote and protect our interests.  The rest of us need to do what we can to help him in this effort.  He suggests we especially keep an eye on his short list in the weekly legislative updates and contact our legislators with our concerns on those bills yet to be voted on.  Most legislators vote by what they hear from their constituents so it is important to let our concerns be heard.

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2015 Legislative Reports

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NDTOA Legislative report for the 64th Session

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Final Weeks - The 64th North Dakota Legislative Session adjourned April 29, 2015

The Assessor Qualification Bill,
SB 2054, was stopped in the House with a 42-49-3 vote. But then It got amended onto another tax bill, HB 1059 , which was a bill to correct a tax inequity between investor-owned electrics and co-op REC’s, other amendments to the bill included the homestead credit for the elderly and one that would allow a fire district to continue a levy to pay off a bond issue. Getting coupled with these other items made the assessor training amendment very hard to kill. The new version in the amendment would continue the two-tiered system with Class I and Class II assessors, cities of more than 5,000 requiring Class I, which requires 180 hours of training but the requirement for Class II was dropped to 100 hours. The fewer hours also made the bill seem less brutal and it became even harder to kill.
The much amended HB 1059 passed the Senate and then went on to a conference committee. The House conferees didn’t like having the assessor bill reintroduced in this manner but the Senate was insistent that the amendment stay in. The conference committee was deadlocked 3-3, the House tried to get the hours cut to 50 but the Tax Department said they needed 80 hours to fit the available online courses so that is what they settled for. The problem is the cost of the 80 hours of online courses is $1,035. For a township that levies 18 mills, it would take all the taxes raised from $1,277,777 of residential property to pay for the training. Many legislators were frustrated that they had to vote for the bill or be voting against property tax relief. Some did vote against the bill just to show their displeasure with the back door method used to push this once killed bill through. The final version passed the House 70 - 20, then the Senate 39 - 8.

HB 1054, ag-land Modifier Bill. Started out monitoring this bill because I had heard in the interim meetings that some of the modifiers were over used and actually doubled up on some factors. But as the session went on it became apparent that this bill might have caused more problems than it would solve. It would be another one-size-fits-all solution. It would be much better to study the use of modifiers and maybe try the changes out in a few counties before doing it state-wide. Didn’t shed any tears when the Senate killed it 21 - 26.

HB 1055, Mills to Cents per $1000, a133 page bill to remove a 4 letter word and replace it with a sentence, those that don’t understand mills wouldn’t understand this either, it would have been a lot of money spent for no improvement. Passed the House 65 - 28, the Senate Tax Committee tried to work out some issues with the bill but when it went to a vote the Senate killed it 4 - 42.

HB 1056, Rural Fire District Levy Bill, House didn’t like the Senate amendment that would allow the fire districts to increase their levy from 5 mills to 13 mills at an annual meeting in a similar manner done for township excess levies, so it went to conference. Nothing else seemed to work so they came up with a way to tighten up the annual meeting election rules. Besides being advertised they have to keep the polls open for 6 hours and must certify the election within 10 days to the county auditor(s) and the Tax Commissioner. The final amended version passed the House 72 - 17, and the Senate 43 - 4.

HB 1057, Notice of Increased Assessment, requires that a property owner be notified if the total increase of assessment of his property exceeds $3,000 and 10% over the last year’s assessment, no matter who or what board made the increase. The Senate amended the bill and the House refused to concur so it went to conference. There was an attempt by a House Conferee to amend the bill with caps on subdivision levies. If a subdivision raised their levy more than 10% one year, the next year they would be limited to a 3% maximum increase. This might have become a problem for a township that had reduced their levy because of the large state funding, now with less money coming from the state they will need to increase their levy and could have run into these caps. The Senate Conferees successfully resisted this amendment, the committee then gave the Senate passed version a favorable recommendation. The House finally accepted the Senate version.

HB 1176, oil and gas gross production tax definitions and allocations - This bill started out as the answer to long term funding in the oil patch, but the slump in the oil market caused some substantial re-writing. The House Appropriations Committee reduced the formula percentage that would go to local subdivisions and the percentage that would be directed to oil producing townships was reduced by a third. The Senate got the formula increased some and got the township percentage restored to the 3% by miles in the county and 3% pooled with the townships in the 10 biggest oil producing counties, as it was from the previous session.
HB 1176 also included an appropriation of $139M for Oil and Gas Impact Grants;$5M of this fund will go to eligible political subdivisions, counties, cities, organized townships and other taxing districts in the seven oil producing counties that received less than $5M in gross production tax allocations from September 1, 2013 through August 31, 2014. There is also $6.8M of discretionary grants for needs as determined by the Land Board.
Following a conference committee recommendation the House passed the amended bill 91 - 1, and the Senate followed with passing it 46 - 1.

HB 1377, the “bucket bill”, named because it is described as a stack of buckets that fill with money which will overflow into the next bucket when they reach a certain amount. This is the allocation formula for the state’s share of the oil and gas tax. After the stack of buckets fill with about $722M, any further funds will go 70% to the strategic improvements and investments fund (SIIF) and 30% to the political subdivision allocation fund. The PSAF is distributed to subdivisions in the oil producing counties, like the gross production tax distributions in 57-51-15.
The oil industry got an amendment added to the “bucket bill” to restrict the local road authority’s ability to impose “rig moving fees”. Note Section 6 (which follows) includes all local authorities that control roads and limits the fees they can impose for using county roads; it would seem this was an oversight in that it doesn’t list township roads. HB 1377 Passed the House 92 - 0, and the Senate 47 - 0.

  • HB 1377, SECTION 6. MORATORIUM ON ADDITIONAL FEES FOR USE OF COUNTY ROADS. For the period beginning June 1, 2015, through June 30, 2017, notwithstanding the provisions of chapter 39-12, the board of county commissioners and other local authorities having control of roads may not impose any additional fees for the use of county roads, except the fees established in the
    North Dakota association of oil and gas producing counties' uniform county truck permit program,
    unless an operator, company, or individual requests and agrees to pay the additional fees. However,
    the board of county commissioners and other local authorities may issue penalties to operators,
    companies, or individuals who violate posted road restrictions.

HB 1358, pipeline monitoring and safety bill. Amendments allow a pipeline operator 60 days after putting a line in service before they must provide a test certificate from an independent inspector. Other sections prohibit reclamation funding going to land or water intentionally damaged by the current or former owner.
The bill also provides for a study to determine the feasibility and cost effectiveness of requiring leak detection and monitoring technology on new and existing pipeline systems, and to determine the best techniques for remediating salt and any other contamination from the soil surrounding waste pits reclaimed by trenching between 1951 and 1984.
The Senate passed the amended bill 44 - 0, House concurred and passed it 91 - 1.


HB 1012 The DOT budget.  Sec 8 has $8M for non-oil townships that will be allocated at $5,000 per township. The funds will go out in February of 2016. Would have liked this doubled, but even the DOT didn’t get all they had put in for and came up short a couple of hundred million. We were worried for a while that we could lose the $8M, but it stayed in, and the final version passed the House 90 - 4, and the Senate 47 - 0.

SB 2144, Governor’s Task Force on Property Tax. Shortened the list of levies available to townships; it eliminated several that had not been used in years. Does allow the normal 18 mills which can be expanded to 36(excess levy) by a vote of the electors. A 5 mill levy can be authorized by the voters for co-operation with the county for county highways within the township. The Excess Levy and Township Road Levy need to be reauthorized every 5 years. The amended bill passed the House 84 - 6, the Senate concurred with the amendments and passed it 47 - 0.

HB 1432, the environmental impact litigation fund. Bill was amended; it now sets up a “Federal environmental law impact review committee”. The committee shall review federal environmental legislation and regulations that detrimentally impact or have the potential to detrimentally impact the state's agricultural, energy, or oil production sectors and confer with the attorney general with respect to participation in administrative or judicial processes pertaining to such legislation or regulations. The bill set up a continuing appropriation for this committee of $1.5M. The amended bill passed the Senate 33 - 14, the House concurred with the amendment and passed the bill 72 - 17.


Week of March 23-27

With the help of a lot of you that called your representatives to oppose the Assessor Qualification Bill,     SB 2054, it was stopped in the House with a 42-49-3 vote. Now if it doesn’t get amended onto some other tax bill that is still alive, we will have two years to work out some kind of solution to the problems that exist out there, and there are some definite problems. This is not going away, it has not been won forever, this was just round one, and if we want to keep the assessors that are doing a decent job we will have to help come up with a way to weed out the others.

HB 1012,
the DOT Budget Bill was heard in the sub-committee on March 26, the presentation by DOT took up the entire time allotted. Section 7 which contains funds for non-oil townships was not discussed. This definition of non-oil is any county outside of the 10 greatest oil producing counties. Most budgets are receiving very close scrutiny and facing trimming off any parts that can be eliminated or put off as the Appropriations Committee is working to balance the budget and is still more than $300M in the red. I am very cautiously seeking any additional funds they might consider adding to the 2016 payments to townships. Might get them to look at a contingency trigger, that way if the income exceeds expectations by 2016 we could get more.

HB 1176, the Formula Bill, is going to be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday March 30 before going to sub-committee for work. I have already been contacted by Senator Wanzek, who said he is going to be one of the sub-committee members on the bill. We have a very good working relationship with Senator Wanzek, he has a very good understanding of rural transportation needs so I look forward to working with the committee to get the best deal we can. I have heard a couple of different opinions about the possibility of improving the formula in favor of the local subdivisions. Some say that the House was overly generous when they set the formula at 70/30 and that if they had it to do over they would not. The other view is that there may be room to set the formula to 65/35, hopefully that second version prevails. On this bill, like HB 1012, have been telling them that we understand budget restraints but a little more sure would help the townships.

Prospects would brighten for HB 1012 and
HB 1176 if crude would just spike over 55.09 once in a while.

HB 1358, the pipeline monitoring and safety bill, is still in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee awaiting action. I signed on in support when they had the hearing and I will be following up on it with some of the committee members this week. Troy Coons and Tom Wheeler of the NW Landowners have been closely following this bill and keep me informed.

Please contact your legislators and at least share with them our “short list” those are the most important township issues.

Short List

CHAMBER ACTED ON:

HB 1401 (SUPPORT) to exempt contractors from sales and use tax on items used for exempt organizations. amended into a study of making contractors working for exempt organizations exempt from the “use” tax. Larry told the committee that NDTOA is very committed to eliminating this drain on much needed transportation funding and will support any direction this needs to take; restore the bill, do the study or prepare to get a bill introduced in the 65th session. The Senate Committee did not restore the original version now we will have to lobby the Legislative Management Committee to ensure this study is actually picked to study in the interim.
House Finance and Taxation: Feb. 16 – DO PASS 12-0-2 (AMENDED)
House: Feb. 19 – PASSED 93-0-1
Senate Finance and Taxation: March 10
Senate: March 26 – PASSED 46-0-1

SB 2054 (OPPOSE ) Tax Assessor Qualification Bill. Would require 180 hours of training for all assessors in the state. House amendment would allow 24 hour trained “assessment technicians” but county could require 180 hour trained “certified assessors” if they felt it was necessary.
Senate Finance and Taxation: 7-0-0
Senate: Feb. 20 – PASSED 26-20-1
House Finance and Taxation: March 24 - (AMENDED) DO PASS – 11-2-1
House: March 26 – FAILED 42-49-3

SB 2300 (OPPOSE) change Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations into task-force.
Larry spoke in opposition in both hearings. Amendments were no improvement

Committee and House bought the “more efficient” argument of the sponsors and the other groups, we will miss the chance to bring issues directly to a committee for study.
Senate Government and Veterans Affairs Committee: Feb. 12 – DO PASS 7-0-0 (AMENDED)
Senate: Feb. 24 – PASSED 44-1-2
House Government and Veterans Affairs Committee: March 19 – (AMENDED) DO PASS
House: March 25 – PASSED 80-9-5

HCR 3009 (SUPPORT) A resolution urging Congress to prevent new rules in “Clean Water Act” NDTOA 2014 resolution: #2.
House Agriculture Committee (AMENDED): DO PASS 12-0
House: Jan. 27- PASSED 93-0-1
Senate Agriculture Committee: March 13 – DO PASS 6-0-0
Senate: March 23 – RESOLUTION ADOPTED

COMMITTEE ACTION:

HB 1432 (SUPPORT) the environmental impact litigation fund. $4M. Fund to defend against enviro-activist lawsuits. ( NDTOA 2014 Resolution #2 supports HB 1432). Larry spoke in support.
House Agriculture: Feb. 9 – DO PASS 12-0-1 (AMENDED- RE-REFERRED)
House Appropriations: Feb. 19 – DO PASS 17-5-1 (AMENDED)
House: Feb. 23 – PASSED 72-21-1
Senate Agriculture Committee: March 13 DO PASS 4-2-0 (AMENDED- RE-REFERRED)
Senate Appropriations: March 31- 8:30 AM

COMING WEEK: March 30 – April 3

HB 1176 (SUPPORT) oil and gas gross production tax definitions and allocations –
House amendment reduced the formula change that would give locals more of the oil and gas tax to local governments, hopefully the Senate will restore some of the increased percentage that was in the bill.
House Appropriations: Feb. 25 – DO PASS 15-8-0 (AMENDED)
House: Feb. 26 – PASSED 70-18
Senate Appropriations: March 30 – 10:00 AM

STILL OUT THERE WAITING:

HB 1012 DOT budget.
Sec 7 has $8M for non-oil townships, can we get that doubled? This payment likely will go out based on miles or on the Upper Great Plains Needs Study, not flat grants per township.
Senate Appropriations Sub-Committee: March 26 – 3:00 PM

HB 1055 Mills to Cents per $1000

133 page bill to remove 4 letter word and replace it with a sentence, those that don’t understand mills won’t understand this either, a lot of money for no improvement.
Senate Finance and Taxation: March 23 - 9:00 AM

HB 1358 (SUPPORT) pipeline monitoring and safety
House Energy and Natural Resources Committee: Feb. 9 – DO PASS 13-0-0 (AMENDED- RE-REFERRED)
House Appropriations: Feb 19 – DO PASS 23-0-0 (Amended)
House: Feb. 23 – PASSED 93-0-1
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee: March 13. Larry supported.

SB 2144 (SUPPORT) Governor’s Task Force on Property Tax
Amendment: Excess Levy and Township Road Levy (5 mills) to be reauthorized every 5 years.
Senate Finance and Taxation: Feb 17 – DO PASS 5-0-2 –(AMENDED)
Senate: Feb. 18 – PASSED 47-0-0
House Finance and Taxation: March 17. Larry spoke in support.


Weeks of March 9-13 and March 16-20

The Assessor Qualification bill, SB 2054 remains our biggest challenge, it is supported by the State Tax Department and "cautiously supported" by the County Association. They seem to want the door to state funding left open to cover cost for counties taking over township and small city assessing. The bill was heard in House Tax on Monday the 9th and now awaits their recommendation. There is an amendment that would remove the increased education requirement but would give the county (?) authority to correct erroneous or improper assessments. I haven’t seen the amendment and it has not yet been accepted by the House. This would be an improvement but keeping the bill alive and amended means it will go to conference with the Senate and who knows how far they would push it back to the original.

Please contact your representatives now! Tell them killing SB 2054  still seems the best goal.

SB 2195, the bill to allow townships to build a $100,000 road fund (up from $30,000) was heard in the House Political Subdivisions. It was introduced by Senator Dave Oehlke with written support from Senator Brad Bekkedahl, Larry also spoke in support. After some questions the committee gave a do pass recommendation with a 12-0-2 vote. The bill would also allow that this fund can be expended for snow removal. The House passed SB 2195 88-8 and it has been signed by the Governor.

The DOT budget bill, HB 1012, was heard in Senate Appropriations on Thursday morning, March 12, and has now gone to a sub-committee consisting of Senators Holmberg, Lee and O’Connell. We were hoping to double the non-oil township funding in Section 7 of the bill with an additional $8M per township, it seems this funding would go out using our mileage list rather than the flat payment pf $10,000 per township like the surge was done. However the financial forecast now puts the entire Section 7 fund in jeopardy and makes it unlikely that it will be increased. We are still trying.

For the oil townships we are hoping to get the formula bill, HB 1176, re-amended to increase the local share. This was also complicated by the financial report that was released on the 18th.

Please contact your legislators and at least share with them our "short list" those are the most important township issues.

 

Short List

 

CHAMBER ACTED ON:

SB 2024 (SUPPORT) reclaiming township or city zoning authority previously relinquished to the county

Senate Political Subdivisions: Jan. 8 – DO PASS 6-0-0

Senate: Jan. 9 – PASSED 46-0-1

House Political Subdivisions Committee: March 5 – DO PASS 13-0-1

House: March 6 – PASSED 85-0-9

Governor: March 12, Signed by the Governor

SB 2195 (SUPPORT) Township Special Road Fund (NDCC 57-15-19.2) To increase maximum allowable in fund from $30,000 to $100,000 and to allow snow removal as an expense from this fund. NDTOA 2014 resolutions: #1 & #4

Senate Political Subdivisions Committee - DO PASS - 6-0-0

Senate: Jan. 26 - PASSED 46-0-1

House Political Subdivisions Committee: March 12 – DO PASS 12-0-2

House: March 17 – PASSED 82 – 8

Governor: March 20, Signed by the Governor

SB 2315 (Neutral)Tort (liability) limit increase to $3M.

Amended to a $1M. per occurrence cap to be in line with the state cap.

Senate Political Subdivisions: Feb. 17 – DO PASS 6-0-0

Senate: Feb.18 – PASSED 47-0-0

House Political Subdivisions Committee: March 17 – DO PASS 13-0-1

House: March 19 – PASSED 88 – 0

COMMITTEE ACTION:

HB 1358 (SUPPORT) pipeline monitoring and safety

House Energy and Natural Resources Committee: Feb. 9 – DO PASS 13-0-0 (AMENDED- RE-REFERRED)

House Appropriations: Feb 19 – DO PASS 23-0-0 (Amended)

House: Feb. 23 – PASSED 93-0-1

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee: March 13. Larry supported.

HB 1401 (SUPPORT) to exempt contractors from sales and use tax on items used for exempt organizations. amended into a study of making contractors working for exempt organizations exempt from the "use" tax. Larry told the committee that NDTOA is very committed to eliminating this drain on much needed transportation funding and will support any direction this needs to take; restore the bill, do the study or prepare to get a bill introduced in the 65th session. The Senate Committee is very likely to restore the original version as they recognized the way this tax on tax is inflating many costs.

House Finance and Taxation: Feb. 16 – DO PASS 12-0-2 (AMENDED)

House: Feb. 19 – PASSED 93-0-1

Senate Finance and Taxation: March 10

HB 1432 (SUPPORT) the environmental impact litigation fund. $4M. Fund to defend against enviro-activist lawsuits. ( NDTOA 2014 Resolution #2 supports HB 1432).

House Agriculture: Feb. 9 – DO PASS 12-0-1 (AMENDED- RE-REFERRED)

House Appropriations: Feb. 19 – DO PASS 17-5-1 (AMENDED)

House: Feb. 23 – PASSED 72-21-1

Senate Agriculture Committee: March 13, Larry spoke in support

SB 2144 (SUPPORT) Governor’s Task Force on Property Tax

Amendment: Excess Levy and Township Road Levy (5 mills) to be reauthorized every 5 years.

Senate Finance and Taxation: Feb 17 – DO PASS 5-0-2 –(AMENDED)

Senate: Feb. 18 – PASSED 47-0-0

House Finance and Taxation: March 17. Larry spoke in support.

 

SB 2300  (OPPOSE) change Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations into task-force.

Larry spoke in opposition in both hearings. Amendments were no improvement

Senate Government and Veterans Affairs Committee: Feb. 12 – DO PASS 7-0-0 (AMENDED)

Senate: Feb. 24 – PASSED 44-1-2

House Government and Veterans Affairs Committee: March 19 – (AMENDED) DO PASS

 

HCR 3009 (SUPPORT) A resolution urging Congress to prevent new rules in "Clean Water Act" NDTOA 2014 resolution: #2.

House Agriculture Committee (AMENDED): DO PASS 12-0

House: Jan. 27- PASSED 93-0-1

Senate Agriculture Committee: March 13, Larry Supported

 

 

COMING WEEK: March 23 – 27

HB 1055 Mills to Cents per $1000

133 page bill to remove 4 letter word and replace it with a sentence, those that don’t understand mills won’t understand this either, a lot of money for no improvement.

Senate Finance and Taxation: March 23 - 9:00 AM

HB 1012 DOT budget. Sec 7 has $8M for non-oil townships, can we get that doubled? This payment likely will go out based on miles or on the Upper Great Plains Needs Study, not flat grants per township.

Senate Appropriations Sub-Committee: March 26 – 3:00 PM

WEEK AFTER:

HB 1176 (SUPPORT) oil and gas gross production tax definitions and allocations

House amendment reduced the formula change that would give locals more of the oil and gas tax to local governments, hopefully the Senate will restore some of the increased percentage that was in the bill.

House Appropriations: Feb. 25 – DO PASS 15-8-0 (AMENDED)

House: Feb. 26 – PASSED 70-18

Senate Appropriations: March 30


Week of March 2-6

The funds authorized by the "Surge Bill" SB 2103 for the non-oil townships has been sent out to the county auditors, $10,000 per "Congressional Township". In case you don’t know, a congressional township is the original 6 mile by 6 mile square, so if your description is more or less than one 6X6 square your figure might be different. You will see there is a lot of committee activity for the coming week, it looks like the "policy" committees are on a roll and might run out of work in a couple of weeks! If that happens, we will all be sitting around waiting for appropriations to make the money decisions.

Speaking of money decisions, there is some possibility that the payments to non-oil townships for next year might get increased to $10,000. That funding would come from the DOT budget bill, HB 1012.

For the oil townships we are hoping to get the formula bill, HB 1176, re-amended to increase the local share.

A lot is riding on the next financial forecast which is due on March 18th.

Please contact your legislators and at least share with them our "short list" those are the most important township issues.

I have also heard that there are county commissioners that are not aware that their organization is supporting the Assessor Qualification Bill SB 2054 which would require 180 hours of training for every assessor. Tell your commissioners to let their organization know how they feel. It might be just a vocal minority steering this thing.

Short List

 

CHAMBER ACTED ON:

SB 2024 (SUPPORT) reclaiming township or city zoning authority previously relinquished to the county

Senate Political Subdivisions: Jan. 8 – DO PASS 6-0-0

Senate: Jan. 9 – PASSED 46-0-1

House Political Subdivisions Committee: March 5 – DO PASS 13-0-1

House: March 6 – PASSED 85-0-9

COMING WEEK: March 9 – 13

HB 1012 (SUPPORT) DOT Budget

House amendment added $8M. for townships to be paid in Feb, 2016, ($5,000 per township) working on growing that to $16M. to bring the 2016 payment up to $10,000 per township.

House Appropriations (G.O.): Feb. 24 – DO PASS 23-0-0 (AMENDED)

House: Feb. 25 – PASSED 92-0-2

Senate Appropriations: March 12 – 8:30 AM

HB 1193 (SUPPORT) investments for political subdivisions (NDCC 21-06-07)

Introduced by bankers, more options for investing funds in the treasury.

House Political Subdivisions: Jan 29

House: Feb. 12 – PASSED 91-0-3

Senate Political Subdivisions: March 13 – 9:45 AM

HB 1258 (monitor) Relating to enforcement of extraterritorial zoning.

Amended and turned into a study of possible problems in ET zone.

House Political Subdivisions: Feb. 9 – DO PASS 13-0-1

House: Feb. 12 – PASSED 88-3

Senate Political Subdivisions: March 12 – 11:00 AM

HB 1318 (SUPPORT) ag development impact grants, $5M fund for impacted subdivisions.

House Amendment removed funds, but so far the idea is alive.

House Agriculture: Feb. 13 – DO PASS 12-1-0 (AMENDED)

House: Feb. 18 - PASSED 75-18-1

Senate Agriculture Committee: March 13 – 10:30 AM

HB 1358 (SUPPORT) pipeline monitoring and safety

House Energy and Natural Resources Committee: Feb. 9 – DO PASS 13-0-0 (AMENDED- RE-REFERRED)

House Appropriations: Feb 19 – DO PASS 23-0-0 (Amended)

House: Feb. 23 – PASSED 93-0-1

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee: March 13 – 10:15 AM

HB 1401  (SUPPORT) to exempt contractors from sales and use tax on items used for exempt organizations. amended into a study of making contractors working for exempt organizations exempt from the "use" tax. Would like to steer this to an exemption from the "use tax" for road materials and culverts installed for political subdivisions.

House Finance and Taxation: Feb. 16 – DO PASS 12-0-2 (AMENDED)

House: Feb. 19 – PASSED 93-0-1

Senate Finance and Taxation: March 10 – 11:00 AM

HB 1432 (SUPPORT) the environmental impact litigation fund. $4M. Fund to defend against enviro-activist lawsuits. ( NDTOA 2014 Resolution #2 supports HB 1432)

House Agriculture: Feb. 9 – DO PASS 12-0-1 (AMENDED- RE-REFERRED)

House Appropriations: Feb. 19 – DO PASS 17-5-1 (AMENDED)

House: Feb. 23 – PASSED 72-21-1

Senate Agriculture Committee: March 13 – 9:00 AM

SB 2054 (OPPOSE ) Tax Assessor Qualification Bill. Would require 180 hours of training for all assessors in the state.

Senate Finance and Taxation: 7-0-0

Senate: Feb. 20 – PASSED 26-20-1

House Finance and Taxation: March 9 – 9:30 AM

SB 2195 (SUPPORT) Township Special Road Fund (NDCC 57-15-19.2) To increase maximum allowable in fund from $30,000 to $100,000 and to allow snow removal as an expense from this fund. NDTOA 2014 resolutions: #1 & #4

Senate Political Subdivisions Committee: DO PASS: 6-0-0

Senate: Jan. 26 - PASSED 46-0-1

House Political Subdivisions Committee: March 12 – 9:00 AM

SB 2262 (SUPPORT) increase the threshold for audit requirement from $200,000 to $300,000

Senate Political Subdivisions: Feb. 5 DO PASS 6-0-0

Senate: Feb. 6 – PASSED 45-0-0

House Political Subdivisions Committee: March 13 – 9:00 AM

SB 2315 (Neutral)Tort (liability) limit increase to $3M.

Amended to a $1M. per occurrence cap to be in line with the state cap.

Senate Political Subdivisions: Feb. 17 – DO PASS 6-0-0

Senate: Feb.18 – PASSED 47-0-0

House Political Subdivisions Committee: March 13 – 10:30 AM

HCR 3009 (SUPPORT) A resolution urging Congress to prevent new rules in "Clean Water Act" NDTOA 2014 resolution: #2.

House Agriculture Committee (AMENDED): DO PASS 12-0

House: Jan. 27- PASSED 93-0-1

Senate Agriculture Committee: March 13 – 10:00 AM


Week of February 23-27

The 64th Legislative Session has reached its half-way point and is enjoying a break for a few days. As expected, the purse strings have tightened, hopefully a new financial forecast in mid-March will brighten the future a bit and some funding could get partially restored. Non-oil township funding is on its way to the county auditors in the amount of $10,000 per township, should be there in the next couple of weeks. There are some more difficult items that will require more work, we came close to killing the assessor qualifications bill SB 2054 but came up a couple of votes short, hope we can do a little better in the House. The main funding bill for the oil producing townships, HB 1176, got amended and we need the Senate to restore the formula change that the bill started with.

Short List

CHAMBER ACTED ON:

HB 1012 (SUPPORT) DOT Budget

$160 mil for oil counties, $120 mil for non-oil counties

House Appropriations (G.O.): Feb. 24 – DO PASS 23-0-0

AMENDED: $8M. for Non-oil Townships to be paid in Feb. 2016, That is $5,000 per township.

House: Feb. 25 – PASSED 92-0-2

Senate Appropriations:

HB 1031 (SUPPORT) oil and gas production tax for HIGHWAY 85 4-lane project

House Transportation: Jan. 15 - DO PASS 11-2-1 (AMENDED- RE-REFERRED)

House Appropriations: Feb. 19 – DO NOT PASS 22-0-1

House: Feb. 23 – FAILED 12-81

HB 1176 (SUPPORT) oil and gas gross production tax definitions and allocations

House amendment reduced the formula change that would give locals more of the oil and gas tax to local governments, hopefully the Senate will restore some of the increased percentage that was in the bill.

House Appropriations: Feb. 25 – DO PASS 15-8-0 (AMENDED)

House: Feb. 26 – PASSED 70-18

HB 1358 (SUPPORT) pipeline monitoring and safety

House Energy and Natural Resources Committee: Feb. 9 – DO PASS 13-0-0 (AMENDED- RE-REFERRED)

House Appropriations: Feb 19 – DO PASS 23-0-0 (Amended)

House: Feb. 23 – PASSED 93-0-1

HB 1432 (SUPPORT) the environmental impact litigation fund. $4M. Fund to defend against enviro-activist lawsuits. I testified that NDTOA 2014 Resolution #2 supports HB 1432

House Agriculture: Feb. 9 – DO PASS 12-0-1 (AMENDED- RE-REFERRED)

House Appropriations: Feb. 19 – DO PASS 17-5-1 (AMENDED)

House: Feb. 23 – PASSED 72-21-1

SB 2076 (SUPPORT) Study of the impact of the Fargo Diversion project.

It was indicated that the study has been included in the water commission budget so this bill no longer needed.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee: Feb. 2 – DO PASS 6-1-0 (AMENDED- RE-REFERRED)

Senate Appropriations: Feb. 20 – DO NOT PASS 13-0-0

Senate: Feb. 24 – FAILED 2-44-1

SB 2103 (SUPPORT), the "Surge" infrastructure funding bill Senate amendment added $300 million for western state highways; county road funds must be used to construct or reconstruct to 105,500.

Non-oil counties $140.8M. Non-oil Townships $19.2M. Oil township funding is in HB 1176, the "Formula Bill"

Senate Appropriations (AMENDED) Do Pass 13-0-0

Senate: Jan 29 – PASSED 44-2-1

House Appropriations: Feb. 11 – DO PASS 20-2-1

House Amendment: ADDED $150M to DOT for oil-districts (now at $450M), most everything else cut 20%, Non-oil counties $112M. Non-oil Townships $16M

Works out to $10,000 per non-oil township, to be paid out asap.

House: Feb. 20 – PASSED 90-2-2 (Returned to Senate for concurrence)

Senate: Feb. 23 – CONCURRED – PASSED 46-0-1

Governor Signed: Feb. 24

SB 2300 (OPPOSE) change Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations into task-force.

Amendments did nothing to improve the bill, still oppose.

Senate Government and Veterans Affairs Committee: Feb. 12 – DO PASS 7-0-0 (AMENDED)

Senate: Feb. 24 – PASSED 44-1-2

 

COMING WEEK: March 2-6

Crossover Recess March 2 & 3; Session resumes Wed. March 4th

SB 2024 (SUPPORT) reclaiming township or city zoning authority previously relinquished to the county

Senate Political Subdivisions: Jan. 8 – DO PASS 6-0-0

Senate: Jan. 9 – PASSED 46-0-1

House Political Subdivisions Committee: March 5 – 10:00AM


Week of February 16-20

Looks like most every bill that has money for old spending is getting trimmed; any bill calling for new spending is getting killed, with very few exceptions. I guess that is what you have to do to brace for $4B less income. Still watching and waiting for HB 1012  the DOT budget, and HB 1176 the oil & gas tax formula bill.

Short List

CHAMBER ACTED ON:

HB 1232 (monitor) Relating to an agreement on haul roads. Not quite workable.

House Transportation: Feb. 13 - DO NOT PASS 10-2-2 – (AMENDED)

House: Feb. 18 - FAILED 11-82-1

HB 1318 (SUPPORT) ag development impact grants, $5M fund for impacted subdivisions. Amendment removed funds for now just to get the program in place; we can work on funding in future sessions when financial picture improves.

House Agriculture: Feb. 13 – DO PASS 12-1-0 (AMENDED)

House: Feb. 18 - PASSED 75-18-1

HB 1401 (SUPPORT) to exempt contractors from sales and use tax on items used for exempt organizations. amended into a study of making contractors working for political subdivisions exempt from the "use" tax. We will start now to get a bill developed to be introduced next session.

House Finance and Taxation: Feb. 16 – DO PASS 12-0-2 (AMENDED)

House: Feb. 19 – PASSED 93-0-1

SB 2054 (OPPOSE ) Tax Assessor Qualification Bill. Would require 180 hours of training for all assessors in the state. Attempt to amend turned into a timing before equalization meeting nightmare. Will now take the fight to the House.

Senate Finance and Taxation: 7-0-0

Senate: Feb. 20 – PASSED 26-20-1

SB 2103 (SUPPORT), the "Surge" infrastructure funding bill Senate amendment added $300 million for western state highways; county road funds must be used to construct or reconstruct to 105,500.

Non-oil counties $140.8M. Non-oil Townships $19.2M. Oil township funding is in HB 1176, the "Formula Bill"

Senate Appropriations (AMENDED) Do Pass 13-0-0

Senate: Jan 29 – PASSED 44-2-1

House Appropriations: Feb. 11 – DO PASS 20-2-1

House Amendment: ADDED $150M to DOT for oil-districts (now at $450M), most everything else cut 20%, Non-oil counties $112M. Non-oil Townships $16M

Works out to $10,000 per non-oil township, to be paid out asap.

House: Feb. 20 – PASSED 90-2-2 (Returned to Senate for concurrence)

SB 2144 (SUPPORT) Governor’s Task Force on Property Tax

Amendment: Excess Levy and Township Road Levy (5 mills) to be reauthorized every 5 years.

Senate Finance and Taxation: Feb 17 – DO PASS 5-0-2 –(AMENDED)

Senate: Feb. 18 – PASSED 47-0-0

SB 2217 (monitor) Financial reports of un-elected boards

Appointed boards must file financial report with the board that appointed them to get future levy.

Senate Finance and Taxation: Feb. 11 – DO PASS 6-0-1

Senate: Feb. 16 – PASSED 47-0-0

SB 2260 (SUPPORT) Economic Impact Grant Program for Political Subdivision

$20M. Grant program similar to energy impact grants for (non-oil) areas with large impact developments

Senate Political Subdivisions: DO NOT PASS 4-2

Senate: Feb. 17 – FAILED 17-29

SB 2315 (Neutral)Tort (liability) limit increase to $3M.

Amended to a $1M. per occurrence cap to be in line with the state cap.

Senate Political Subdivisions: Feb. 17 – DO PASS 6-0-0

Senate: Feb.18 – PASSED 47-0-0

COMMITTEE ACTION:

HB 1031 (SUPPORT) oil and gas production tax for HIGHWAY 85 4-lane project

House Transportation: Jan. 15 - DO PASS 11-2-1 (AMENDED-REREFERRED)

House Appropriations: Feb. 19 – DO NOT PASS 22-0-1

HB 1358  (SUPPORT) pipeline monitoring and safety

House Energy and Natural Resources Committee: Feb. 9 – DO PASS 13-0-0 AMENDED-REREFERRED

House Appropriations: Feb 19 – DO PASS 23-0-0 (Amended)

HB 1432 (SUPPORT) the environmental impact litigation fund. $4M. Fund to defend against enviro-activist lawsuits. I testified that NDTOA 2014 Resolution #2 supports HB 1432

House Agriculture: Feb. 9 – DO PASS 12-0-1 AMENDED- REREFERRED

House Appropriations: Feb. 19 – DO PASS 17-5-1 (AMENDED)

SB 2076 (SUPPORT) Study of the impact of the Fargo Diversion project.

Testified that NDTOA has a resolution of opposition of the Fargo Diversion largely because costs to rural areas have not been fully recognized, so we support the study.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee: Feb. 2 – DO PASS 6-1-0 AMENDED- REREFFERED

Senate Appropriations: Feb. 20 – DO NOT PASS 13-0-0

SB 2300 (OPPOSE) change Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations into task-force.

Amendments did nothing to improve the bill, still oppose.

Government and Veterans Affairs Committee: Feb. 12 – DO PASS 7-0-0 (AMENDED)

COMING WEEK: February 23-27

Both chambers completing committee work and clearing their calendars by Friday.

HB 1012 (SUPPORT) DOT Budget

$160 mil for oil counties, $120 mil for non-oil counties

House Appropriations (G.O.):

HB 1176 (SUPPORT) oil and gas gross production tax definitions and allocations

Should give oil-townships the best funding they have ever gotten, it mainly changes the on-going formula to give the locals more of the oil taxes.

House Appropriations:

 


Week of February 9-13

There are 99 bills in my tracking list; I try to report on those most important to Townships. Many are just watched for their potential to become important. Some have been defeated so the list will shrink. The big funding bills, the levy consolidation bill (SB 2144) and the tax assessor qualification bill (SB 2054) remain to be worked on in the next 2 weeks. All bills must clear first chamber by the cross-over deadline Friday February 27 which is the 39th legislative day.

Short List

(Pipelines) HB 1358

    (HWY 85) HB 1031

CHAMBER ACTED ON:

HB 1112 (SUPPORT) Funding state disaster or emergency response and recovery. $3M. fund for disaster if federal disaster is denied.

House Government and Veterans Affairs Committee: Feb. 9 DO PASS 13-0-1 (Amended)

House: Feb. 12 -  PASSED 91-0-3

HB 1435  (monitor) $500 civil penalty for open meeting/records violations

Seems to target the Higher Ed Board, even the Attorney General spoke in opposition.

House Judicial: Jan 26 – DO NOT PASS 13-0-0

House: Feb. 9 – FAILED 21-72

HB 1193  (SUPPORT) investments for political subdivisions (NDCC 21-06-07)

Introduced by bankers, more options for investing funds in the treasury.

House Political Subdivisions: Jan 29

House: Feb. 12 – PASSED 91-0-3

HB 1258 (monitor) Relating to enforcement of extraterritorial zoning.

Amended and turned into a study of possible problems in ET zone.

House Political Subdivisions: Feb. 9 – DO PASS 13-0-1

House: Feb. 12 – PASSED 88-3

HB 1398 (SUPPORT) non-voting representative on zoning board for residents of ET zone

Probably unworkable, there is provision for joint board in zone.

House Political Subdivisions: Feb. 5 – DO NOT PASS 11-2-1

House: Feb. 11 – FAILED 7-83

COMMITTEE ACTION:

HB 1031 (SUPPORT) oil and gas production tax for HIGHWAY 85 4-lane project

House Transportation: Jan. 15 -  DO PASS 11-2-1 (AMENDED-REREFERRED)

House Appropriations: Feb. 9

HB 1232 (monitor) Relating to an agreement on haul roads. Might be a good idea but not quite in a workable form yet.

House Transportation: Feb. 13 - DO NOT PASS 10-2-2 – (AMENDED)

HB 1318 (SUPPORT) ag development impact grants, $5M fund for impacted subdivisions. Testified in support, would support an amendment to remove most funds for now just to get the program in place, we can work on funding in future sessions when financial picture improves.

House Agriculture: Feb. 13 – DO PASS 12-1-0  (AMENDED)

HB 1358 (SUPPORT) pipeline monitoring and safety

House Energy and Natural Resources Committee: Feb. 9 – DO PASS 13-0-0 AMENDED-REREFERRED

House Appropriations: Feb 10.

HB 1401 (SUPPORT) to exempt contractors from sales and use tax on items used for exempt organizations.  If your township or county has a contractor install a culvert, or spread gravel, that contractor has to charge "use" tax on those materials. He then would have to pass that tax on to the county or township as a higher cost for the job. Magically that is not a tax anymore, right? No, I don’t think that is right, they are charging us sales tax if we don’t do the work ourselves. To force us to use our property tax dollars to pay sales tax is ridiculous. HB 1401 is being amended into a study of making contractors working for political subdivisions exempt from the "use" tax.  We will start now to get a bill introduced and passed in the 2017 session.

House Finance and Taxation:  Jan 28

HB 1432 (SUPPORT) the environmental impact litigation fund. Fund to defend against enviro-activist lawsuits.  I testified that NDTOA 2014 Resolution #2 supports HB 1432. The room full of supporters for this bill should have made an impression on the Attorney General that the industries of the state feel they need to be protected from these lawsuits. It is not very often that we get up on the same side as Continental Resources.

House Agriculture: Feb. 9 – DO PASS  12-0-1 AMENDED- REREFERRED

House Appropriations: Feb. 10

SB 2076 (SUPPORT) Study of the impact of the Fargo Diversion project.

Testified that NDTOA has a resolution of opposition of the Fargo Diversion largely because costs to rural areas have not been fully recognized, so we support the study.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee: Feb. 2 – DO PASS 6-1-0 AMENDED- REREFFERED

Senate Appropriations: Feb. 10

SB 2103 (SUPPORT), the "Surge" infrastructure funding bill Senate amendment added $300 million for western state highways. Language added that county road funds must be used to construct or reconstruct to 105,500. Will provide funding for both oil and non-oil counties and townships. Non-oil counties $140.8M. Non-oil Townships $19.2M.
Senate Appropriations (AMENDED) Do Pass 13-0-0

Senate: Jan 29 – PASSED 44-2-1

Some 300 people filled the big Brynhild Haugland Room meeting room to show support for "Surge Funding"

I spoke in support of 2103 and expressed our gratitude for the funding we have received from previous sessions and thanked the committee for the work they have done over the years to send that money our way.

Continuing to support the bill in sub-committee action

House Appropriations: Feb. 11

SB 2217 (monitor) Financial reports of un-elected boards

Appointed boards must file financial report with the board that appointed them to get future levy.

Senate Finance and Taxation: Feb. 11 – DO PASS 6-0-1

SB 2260 (SUPPORT) Economic Impact Grant Program for Political Subdivision

Grant program similar to energy impact grants for (non-oil) areas with large impact developments, ($20 million fund), many from Stutsman County, Farmers Union, Counties and Larry supported / no opposition. Would help with costs that hit county, and others, during development stage, taxes don’t come in till development complete and commercial operation begins. (3,000 temporary construction workers is a big load for law and emergency.) The committee saw this as a Stutsman County fund, missing the opportunity that this fund could provide anywhere in non-oil ND that sees a huge development. Then they commented that the county didn’t first put on a county sales tax. Senator Wanzek and others are working to overcome committee vote.

Senate Political Subdivisions: DO NOT PASS 4-2

SB 2300 (OPPOSE) change ACIR into task-force. Told the committee that NDTOA has been committed to the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations ever since it was set up during Governor Sinners administration and because it has been a valuable arena for the political subdivisions to work out their differences in, we remain committed to it.  It gives us a chance to bring our problems to a forum and discuss them with our peers; four legislators are on the committee, sometimes acting as referees and often as advisors. We need to keep the ACIR as a place where we can bring what we see as problems not just a place to work on what the legislature thinks is a problem. Some amendments seem likely.

Government and Veterans Affairs Committee: Feb. 12

COMING WEEK: February 16-20

Most hearings are done but Committee and Sub-Committee work on bills will continue.


Week of February 2-6

The deadline for bills that contain money to be re-referred to appropriations is soon approaching so all the policy committees have been focusing their attention on those bills to get them moved out.

The financial picture doesn’t seem to be brightening very fast and the mood of the appropriations committees seems to be turning even more conservative than normal, even the policy committees are slashing spending bills.

Short List

CHAMBER ACTED ON:

HB 1194 (MONITOR) subdivision may borrow from bank or credit union against anticipated revenue.

House Political Subdivisions Committee: Feb. 2 – DO PASS 11-1-2

House: Feb. 4 – PASSED 86-6

HB 1270 (monitor) reclaimed land returning to ag-land assessment Introduced by Rep. Marvin Nelson would prevent land that has not been completely reclaimed from being assessed as ag-land.

House Political Subdivisions: Jan 30 DO NOT PASS 8-5-1

House: Feb. 2 - FAILED 27-64

HB 1354 (OPPOSE) Limit increases of ag-land valuation to 10%

Sounds nice but might cause more problems down the road. Not allowing the productivity formula to work. There are urban legislators that would like to scrap productivity and value ag-land at market!

House Finance and Taxation: Feb. 2 – DO NOT PASS 12-0-0

House: Feb. 4 – FAILED 5-87

SB 2262 (monitor) increase the threshold for audit requirement from $200,000 to $300,000

Senate Political Subdivisions: Feb. 5 DO PASS 6-0-0

Senate: Feb. 6 – PASSED 45-0-0

SB 2263 (monitor) matching grants for certain township streets and roads

Grants for townships that border Canada and contain a state park. ($2 million fund)

Senate Political Subdivisions: Jan. 29 DO NOT PASS 4-2-0

Senate: Feb. 4 - FAILED 9-38

 

COMMITTEE ACTION:

HB 1193 (monitor) investments for political subdivisions (NDCC 21-06-07)

Introduced by bankers, more options for investing funds in the treasury, (added risk?)

House Political Subdivisions: Jan 29

HB 1258 (SUPPORT) enforcement of extraterritorial zoning (40-47-01.1)

Further analysis of the bill indicates it would not be very effective. Also the problems that brought about the bill turned out to more of a health department issue not zoning. Supported an amendment to recommend a study of potential issues.

House Political Subdivisions: Feb. 5

HB 1318 (SUPPORT) ag development impact grants, $5M fund for impacted subdivisions.
Testified in support, would support an amendment to remove most funds for now just to get the program in place, we can work on funding in future sessions when financial picture improves.

House Agriculture: Feb. 5

HB 1398 (SUPPORT) non-voting representative on zoning board for residents of ET zone

Probably unworkable, there is provision for joint board in zone.

House Political Subdivisions: Feb. 5

HB 1432 (SUPPORT) the environmental impact litigation fund. Fund to defend against enviro-activist lawsuits. I testified that NDTOA 2014 Resolution #2 supports HB 1432. The room full of supporters for this bill should have made an impression on the Attorney General that the industries of the state feel they need to be protected from these lawsuits. It is not very often that we get up on the same side as Continental Resources.

House Agriculture: Feb. 5.

HB 1435 (monitor) $500 civil penalty for open meeting/records violations

Seems to target the Higher Ed Board, even the Attorney General spoke in opposition.

House Judicial: Jan 26 – DO NOT PASS 13-0-0

 

SB 2260 (SUPPORT) Economic Impact Grant Program for Political Subdivision

Grant program similar to energy impact grants for (non-oil) areas with large impact developments, ($20 million fund), many from Stutsman County, Farmers Union, Counties and Larry supported / no opposition. Would help with costs that hit county, and others, during development stage, taxes don’t come in till development complete and commercial operation begins. (3,000 temporary construction workers is a big load for law and emergency.) The committee saw this as a Stutsman County fund, missing the opportunity that this fund could provide anywhere in non-oil ND that sees a huge development. Then they commented that the county didn’t first put on a county sales tax. Working with Sen. Wanzek, and others, to overcome the bad committee recommendation.

Senate Political Subdivisions: DO NOT PASS 4-2

SB 2315 (Neutral)Tort (liability) limit increase to $3M.

(this is a response to Larimore bus/train crash) - NDIRF alert

Likely to be amended to a $1M. per occurrence cap to be in line with the state cap, also supported an amendment to have the cap and resulting premium cost studied by O.M.B. The existing caps were set by the legislature in 1977 after the state and its subdivisions lost sovereign immunity. Then it will become a spend-tax decision for the voters and the legislature, insurance can be bought for whatever level they are willing to be taxed for.

Senate Political Subdivisions: Feb. 6

COMING WEEK: February 9-13

SB 2103 (SUPPORT), the "Surge" infrastructure funding bill Senate amendment added $300 million for western state highways. Language added that county road funds must be used to construct or reconstruct to 105,500.
Senate Appropriations (AMENDED) Do Pass 13-0-0

Senate: Jan 29 – PASSED 44-2-1

House Appropriations: Feb. 11 9:30 AM

SB 2103 the "surge bill" will need lots of support to make it through House Appropriations without suffering heavy cuts. The hearing will be held in the big room, the Brynhild Haugland Room. They are expecting a crowd of supporters; they had better not be disappointed. Wed. Feb. 11 9:30 AM

 

SB 2300 (OPPOSE) change ACIR into task-force The Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations has been a valuable arena for the political subdivisions to work out the differences in, ever since it was set up during Governor Sinners administration. It gives us a chance to bring our perceived problems to a forum and discuss them; four legislators are on the committee, sometimes acting as referees and often as advisors. We need to keep the ACIR as a place where we can bring what we see as problems not just a place to work on what the legislature thinks is a problem.

Government and Veterans Affairs Committee: Feb. 12 9:45 AM


Week of January 26-30

Deadline for bill introduction by Senators was Monday, January 26. Now only very high leadership can introduce any new bills.

Transportation Coalition met Monday Jan. 26; will develop media to promote early funding for transportation construction. Will continue to do "working lunches" to come up with ideas and implement them.

With the new revenue forecast that the state income will be 4 billion less than what was expected when the budget was prepared we can expect some trimming of "one time funding".

CHAMBER ACTED ON:

HB 1054 (monitor) application and use of modifiers in ag-land assessments, eliminates "inundated land" now lumped with "nonproductive land" , restricts the use of modifiers, cleans out old references.

House Finance and Taxation: Jan. 12 (Amended) Jan. 27: DO PASS 12-1-1

House: Jan 29 - PASSED 89-1-4

HB 1058 (monitor) notices of a proposed property tax levy increase and the time and place of a public hearing on the increase, counties was proposing a "one-notice system" to avoid taxpayer getting piles of notices.

House Finance and Taxation: Jan 27: DO NOT PASS 10-3-1

House: Jan 29 – FAILED 42-49

HB 1326  (OPPOSE) Gravel-Rock-Soil loads must be covered

Jan. 23: No testimony in favor / truckers, contractors opposed, Larry opposed

House Transportation: DO NOT PASS 12-1-1

House: Jan 29 - FAILED 23-68-2

SB 2103  (SUPPORT), the "Surge" infrastructure funding bill was amended Jan. 22. Amendments did not alter county funding, but added $300 million for western state highways. Language added that county road funds must be used to construct or reconstruct to 105,500.
Senate Appropriations (AMENDED) Do Pass 13-0-0

Senate: Jan 29 – PASSED 44-2-1

SB 2126 (monitor) Governor’s infrastructure funding bill

Senate Appropriations: Do Not Pass 10-3-0

Senate:  Jan 29 - (AMENDED) - FAILED 14-32-1

SB 2195 (SUPPORT) Township Special Road Fund (NDCC 57-15-19.2) To increase maximum allowable in fund from $30,000 to $100,000 and to allow snow removal as an expense from this fund. NDTOA 2014 resolutions: #1 & #4. Introduced by Sen. Dave Oehlke,  Jan. 22: Testimony in favor by: Sen. Bekkedahl(did a great job), Larry, Scott Rising (ND Soybean Growers), Kayla Pulvermacher (ND Farmers Union); Sen. Dotzenrod asked some questions that brought out some good points for the committee. There was no opposition.

Senate Political Subdivisions Committee: voted DO PASS: 6-0-0

Senate: Jan.  26 - PASSED 46-0-1

SB 2265 (monitor) would allow some lakeside residences to be valued at 65% of market.

- Not constitutional.

Senate Finance and Taxation: Jan. 28   DO NOT PASS 7-0-1

Senate: Jan 30 – FAILED 3-44-0

HCR 3009 (SUPPORT) A resolution urging Congress to prevent new rules in "Clean Water Act" NDTOA 2014 resolution: #2. Jan. 22: Larry gave written support

House Agriculture Committee (AMENDED): DO PASS 12-0

House: Jan. 27- PASSED 93-0-1

 

COMMITTEE ACTION:

HB 1176 (support) oil and gas gross production tax definitions and allocations – good for oil twps. A bit weak for Non-Oil townships, but this is a needed part for final funding bill. This contains some "one-time-funding" but it mainly changes the on-going formula to give the locals more of the oil taxes.

House Appropriations:  Jan. 29

HB 1193 (monitor) investments for political subdivisions (NDCC 21-06-07)

Introduced by bankers, more options for investing funds in the treasury, (added risk?)

House Political Subdivisions: Jan 29

HB 1270 (monitor) reclaimed land returning to ag-land assessment

Jan. 23 hearing

House Political Subdivisions: Jan 30 DO NOT PASS 8-5-1

HB 1287  (monitor) allocation of sales, use & excise taxes to subdivisions

Jan 21 hearing

House Finance and Taxation

HB 1401 (SUPPORT) to exempt contractors from sales and use tax on items used for exempt organizations. Contractor that installs a culvert for township can be forced to pay "use" tax on the culvert he installs even if the township supplied the culvert! Also if a contractor sells and spreads gravel for the township he has to pay sales or use tax. Townships that use contractors will see costs go up if this doesn’t pass.

House Finance and Taxation:  Jan 28

HB 1435 (monitor) $500 civil penalty for open meeting/records violations

Seems to target the Higher Ed Board, even the Attorney General spoke in opposition.

House Judicial: Jan 26

SB 2054 (OPPOSE – AMEND) Tax Assessor Qualification Bill. Would require 180 hours of training for all assessors in the state. Jan  13; Most groups support / Larry, Ransom County Tax director and a few township assessors opposed.  Seeking amendments to give Auditors & County Board more authority to deal with assessors that are doing poor work, rather than punish everyone. ON-GOING LOBBYING EFFORT

Senate Finance and Taxation - AN AMENDMENT IS BEING PREPARED

SB 2144 (SUPPORT – AMEND) Governor’s Task Force on Property Tax, will simplify tax levies, eliminate long unused from list. Jan 21: Larry testified, most groups are supporting. Will seek amendment to Section 82 to set number of years authorization would stand to 5 or 10, like all other voter authorized levies in the bill. (NDCC 57-15-19.4)

Senate Finance and Taxation

SB 2217 (monitor) Financial reports of un-elected boards

Appointed boards must file financial report with the board that appointed them to get future levy.

Senate Finance and Taxation: Jan. 28

SB 2260 (SUPPORT) Economic Impact Grant Program for Political Subdivision

Grant program similar to energy impact grants for (non-oil) areas with large impact developments, ($20 million fund), many from Stutsman County, Farmers Union, Counties and Larry supported / no opposition. Would help with costs that hit county, and others, during development stage, taxes don’t come in till development complete and commercial operation begins. (3,000 temporary construction workers is a big load for law and emergency.)

Senate Political Subdivisions: Jan 30

COMING WEEK: February 2-6

HB 1012 (SUPPORT)  DOT Budget $900M for state hwy

Feb 2  8:30AM Medora Room,  contains $160 mil for oil counties, $120 mil for non-oil counties and townships

This is a big bill that will get a lot of scrutiny, weekly hearings followed by committee work.

House Appropriations (G.O.)

HB 1354 (OPPOSE) Limit increases of ag-land valuation to 10%

Sounds nice but might cause more problems down the road. Not allowing the productivity formula to work. There are urban legislators that would like to scrap productivity and value ag-land at market!

House Finance and Taxation: Feb. 2  9:00 AM

HB 1014 (monitor) short line RR loan program (and others)

Short line railroads save truck miles on roads

House Appropriations (G.O.): Feb. 5  8:30 AM

HB 1258 (SUPPORT) enforcement of extraterritorial zoning (40-47-01.1)

Cities have taken ET Zoning authority (to ensure orderly development) now don’t enforce plan. Leaving rural citizens without protection from unwanted development.

House Political Subdivisions: Feb. 5 10:00 AM

HB 1398 (SUPPORT) non-voting representative on zoning board for residents of ET zone

At least some small input to zoning commission for rural folks caught in city ET zone.

House Political Subdivisions: Feb. 5 10:30 AM

SB 2262 (monitor) increase the threshold for audit requirement from $200,000 to $300,000

Senate Political Subdivisions: Feb. 5 10:45 AM

SB 2263 (monitor) matching grants for certain township streets and roads

Grants for townships that border Canada and contain a state park. ($2 million fund)

Senate Political Subdivisions: Jan. 29

SB2315 Tort (liability) limit increase to $3M.

(this is a response to Larimore bus/train crash) - NDIRF alert

Senate Political Subdivisions: Feb. 6  9:00 AM

 

 

Further out:

SB 2300 (OPPOSE) change ACIR into task-force

not scheduled yet

Government and Veterans Affairs Committee

 


Week of January 19-23

Monday January 19 was the last day for Representatives to introduce new bills and Senators are limited to total of 3 more each. Deadline for bill introduction by Senators is Monday, January 26. Now we can get the pile all sorted out and deal with it.

HB 1232 (SUPPORT- AMEND) LOCAL ROAD REMEDIATION PLAN (new section in NDCC 24-06) Would require a plan to repair road damage by out of township contractors.
Introduced by Rep. Brandenburg, Jan. 22: SUPPORTED
Will need amendment if it is going to stay alive.
House Transportation Committee

HB 1362 (OPPOSE) Gravel-Rock-Soil loads must be covered
Jan. 23: No testimony in favor / truckers, contractors opposed, Larry opposed
House Transportation voted DO NOT PASS 12-1-1

SB 2054 (OPPOSE – AMEND) Tax Assessor Qualification Bill. Would require 180 hours of training for all assessors in the state. Jan 13; Most groups support / Larry, Ransom County Tax director and a few township assessors opposed. Seeking amendments to give Auditors & County Board more authority to deal with assessors that are doing poor work, rather than punish everyone. ON-GOING LOBBYING EFFORT
Senate Finance and Taxation

SB 2103 (SUPPORT), the "Surge" infrastructure funding bill was amended Jan. 22. Amendments did not alter county funding, but added $300 million for western state highways. Language added that county road funds must be used to construct or reconstruct to 105, 5000. The alternative "Jumpstart" bill is being held in the committee for the time being. The "Surge" bill is expected to be on the Senate floor next week (Transportation Coalition will be meeting Monday 26 th )
Senate Appropriations (AMENDED) Do Pass 13-0-0

SB 2144 (SUPPORT – AMEND) Governor’s Task Force on Property Tax, will simplify tax levies, eliminate long unused from list. Jan 21: Larry testified, most groups are supporting. Will seek amendment to Section 82 to set number of years authorization would stand to 5 or 10, like all other voter authorized levies in the bill. (NDCC 57-15-19.4)
Senate Finance and Taxation

SB 2195 (SUPPORT) Township Special Road Fund (NDCC 57-15-19.2) To increase maximum allowable in fund from $30,000 to $100,000 and to allow snow removal as an expense from this fund. NDTOA 2014 resolutions: #1 & #4. Introduced by Sen. Dave Oehlke, Jan. 22: Testimony in favor by: Sen. Bekkedahl(did a great job), Larry, Scott Rising (ND Soybean Growers), Kayla Pulvermacher (ND Farmers Union) Sen. Dotzenrod asked some questions that brought out some good points for the committee.
There was no opposition.
Senate Political Subdivisions Committee voted DO PASS: 5-0-1

HCR 3009 (SUPPORT) A resolution urging Congress to prevent new rules in “Clean Water Act” NDTOA 2014 resolution: #2. Jan. 22: Larry gave written support
House Agriculture Committee

                                                                             INCOMING! 

NOTE: This is not done yet by any means!

NEXT WEEK:

HB 1012 DOT Budget $900M for state hwy
Jan 26 8:30AM Medora Room,
House Approps

HB 1193 investments for political subdivisions (NDCC 21-06-07)
Jan 29 9:00AM Prairie Room,
House Political Subdivisions

HB 1435 $500 civil penalty for open meeting/records violations
Jan 26 11:00AM Prairie Room;
House Jud.

SB 2217 ( ) Financial reports of un-elected boards
Jan. 28 11:00AM Lewis & Clark Room
Senate Finance and Taxation

SB 2263 matching grants for certain township streets and roads
Jan. 29 11:00AM Prairie Room
Senate Political Subdivisions

Further out:


SB 2300 (OPPOSE) change ACIR into task-force
?
Government and Veterans Affairs Committee

SB2315 Tort (liability) limit increase to $3M.
Feb. 12 (this is a response to Larimore bus/train crash) - NDIRF alert
Senate Political Subdivisions

SB 2024 (SUPPORT) reclaiming zoning authority previously relinquished to the county
Jan. 8 Larry testified
Senate Political Subdivisions DO PASS 6-0-0 Senate (Jan. 9) PASSED 46 Y – 0 N

HB 1057 Notice of Assessment Increase
Jan. 12
House Finance and Taxation DO PASS 14-0-0
House (Jan.22) PASSED 89 Y – 1 N


HB 1258 (           ) enforcement of extraterritorial zoning (40-47-01.1)
?
House Political Subdivisions


HB 1055 (            ) converting from mills to cents/dollar
Jan. 12: Most groups opposed, Larry opposed
House Finance & Taxation (AMENDED) DO PASS 14-0-0, RE-REFERED
House Appropriations


 NDTOA Lobbyist and Director of  Governmental Relations, Larry Syverson
 

             ************  

2013 Legislature general information:
http://legis.nd.gov/
http://legis.nd.gov/general-information

2013 Legislative Assembly general information, including
Bills, journals, calendars, legislators, committes, deadlines, live videos, roll calls etc
http://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/63-2013/regular 

Legislative Bill Tracking System -
click here: http://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/63-2013/regular/legislative-bill-tracking-system 

Dates and Deadlines of 63rd Legislative Session:
http://www.legis.nd.gov/files/resource/63-2013/legislative-deadlines/2013-legislative-deadlines.pdf

Contact your Legislator:
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Telephone: 888-635-3447

Find your legislative district:
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District Legislators:
http://www.legis.nd.gov/assembly/63-2013/members/members-by-district 

 

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